Satire is a great part of comedy. It was a great tool in the 1970s on “All in the Family,” and it’s heavy in “South Park” and “Family Guy.” Unless it flies right over your head, which it likely does for most of America, it’s a way to help you understand the world. We all can learn things when satirical comedy is done right, and few places produce satirical situations better than our nation’s Capital, churning out humorous situations daily.
Political Theater capitalizes on this, and the latest troupe to make comedy out of politics is Capitol Comedy. The six-person theatrical team, which includes five actors and one musical director, present some of the nation’s own political events in a bouncy, theatrical and musical package, delivered in a way to help you laugh off the absurdity.
Capitol Comedy will make its Durango debut with a performance Saturday at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
“Satire is good,” said Sarah Oliver, a Capitol Comedy cast member who plays Mitch McConnell and the ghost of Richard Nixon, among others. “When we aren’t feeling tense and attacked, I think we are more open to think like ‘OK, that is kind of funny and I can see a different perspective on some things because I’m not just thinking they are coming for me.’”
They’re not coming for you, nor does the show go after low-hanging fruit. They’re also not taking aim at any one group, as everyone in the political spectrum remains fair game.
“You’re not going to be like ‘OK, this is just an hour and a half of making fun of me.’ You’re going to feel like ‘OK, they poked a little fun at Biden, they poked a little fun at a Trump person,’” Oliver said. “But one of the beautiful things I love so much about this show, and I’ve done shows of this nature in the past, there’s not a single Trump impression. Can you imagine not having to hear that? It’s fantastic. We’ve just been overloaded with it for the past five years. And even if you want to make fun of Trump, you’re probably sick of the impression right now. Everyone’s done it!”
If you go
WHAT: Political Satire with Capitol Comedy.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Drive.
TICKETS: $0-$50. Available online at https://bit.ly/3UmOrmm.
MORE INFORMATION: Call 247-7657 or visit www.durangoconcerts.com.
The show is more playful than poking. Sure, they take on the recent Roe v. Wade decision while also taking jabs at inflation and Putin, but it’s a musical where truth is stranger than fiction.
“You can’t write stranger, more bizarre things than this,” Oliver said. “But that’s what makes the show so fun. It’s more lighthearted, it’s not really trying to come and decimate or change your mind about anything. It’s just really kind of sweet and funny and everybody gets to have fun as their characters. We’re not being mean to anyone.”
It does remain satirical and current. A good thing for the cast and the shows writers is that there is always something happening in Washington, as it’s a community where the good, the bad and the awful can come from a handful of at times questionable decision-makers. It keeps the Capitol Comedy team on their toes, because if something makes the front page of The Washington Post, it’s bound to wind up in the act.
“I’ve been sent an email saying, ‘We’re going to try this song out next week’ and it’s a completely new song. That’s what happened with ‘Goodbye Roe v. Wade.’ You can image that came at a certain time and yet it happens out of necessity with things changing, but it’s also evergreen,” Oliver said. “It’s an ongoing conversation, and an ever-going situation. Things like that can pop up and we can grasp them and say, ‘the muse has struck.’”
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.