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Published: Thursday, 10/18/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Forget red and blue states -- it's about the laughs

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The timing is perfect for some belly-busting laughs at politicians' expense Thursday when The Capitol Steps presents Take the Money and Run for President at the Valentine Theatre.

"You guys are in a swing state; you know how nasty it's getting. If the price of a ticket will save you from throwing your shoe at the TV set, it's worth it," said Elaina Newport, co-author and co-founder of The Capitol Steps in a recent phone interview from Alexandria, Va.

Newport, Jim Aidala, and the late Bill Strauss were Capitol Hill staffers planning to entertain at a 1981 Christmas party. Their political satire show was such a hit, the trio launched new careers spanning more than three decades.

"We started traveling a lot with the show. There were a lot of days I didn't show up for work, and they started to notice," Newport said. The Capitol Steps have released more than 30 albums and traveled throughout the United States multiple times.

The comedy troupe believes in equal-opportunity satire when it comes to politics and politicians. "We get everybody, and it's all good fun," Newport said.

The only real complaint about the show: "I had one senator come up and complain because we didn't do a song about him."

Even the song titles conjure up amusing moments in political history -- "Love Potion Number 9-9-9," "Lirty Dies: A Lunch of Boozers," "If I Tax a Rich Man," and "Occupy Wall Street Journal"

"The Capitol Steps: Take the Money and Run for President" performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Valentine Theatre, 400 N. Superior St.; 419-242-2787. Ticket prices range from $37 to $50. Information: 419-242-2787 or valentinetheatre.com.

Ghoulish Guffaws

Skeletons, zombies, and disappearing people combine for an unlikely recipe for laughter this weekend when the Children's Theatre Workshop Teen presents The Best Haunted House Ever.

Students from Hoover High decide the creepy manor, Old Cut 'N' Stitch, is the perfect place to host a fund-raiser. Jervis High School students have the same idea. Both groups assume the other is trying to scare them away with the appearance of skeletons, zombies, and a professor wielding a knife. It doesn't take long for them to figure out a third party has a hand in these tricks and tales.

"The Best Haunted House Ever" will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday in the Tansey-Zimmerman Theatre at the Collingwood Arts Center, 2417 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. Information: 419-244-5061 or ctwtoledo.org.

Honky Tonk

Three would-be songstresses meet on a bus to Nashville and develop a fast friendship this weekend in Sandusky State Theatre dinner theater's production of Honky Tonk Angels.

This musical pays tribute to country music featuring songs by Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton, including "Stand by Your Man," "Coal Miner's Daughter," and "9 to 5."

"Honky Tonk Angels" will be performed at 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Additional performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Show tickets range from $21 to $31. Dinner and show tickets range from $39 to $49. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Dinner is 90 minutes before show time. Information: 419-626-1950 or www.sanduskystate.com.

Hairspray

The Fort Defiance Players are joining forces with Defiance College Players this weekend to present Hairspray in the Defiance Community Auditorium.

Community members, college students, and high school students make up this cast of 65 and will be accompanied by a full orchestra to bring to life 1962 Baltimore in this tale of a social outcast turned star. Anna Yoder as Tracy Turnblad dances her way onto national television, brings down the reigning teen queen, and is instrumental in integrating the network in this musical that won eight 2003 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

"Hairspray" will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday in Defiance Community Auditorium, 629 Arabella St., Defiance. Tickets are $12 for reserved seating and $10 for general admission. Information: 419-782-7529.

Comedy

MONROE -- Comedian and musician Tim Wilson will showcase his biting wit and perform satirical songs Saturday at Monroe County Community College's La-Z-Boy Center in Monroe.

His commentary conveys his point of view on politics, family relationships, blind dates, and cell phones. Wilson has released more than six albums including "The Real Twang Thang," and "I Should Have Married My Father-in-Law." Some of his best-known parodies include " The Jeff Gordon Song," "First Baptist Bar and Grill," and "Trailer Love."

Wilson has been a regular on The Bob and Tom Show and made several television appearances including Late Night With Jay Leno. Monroe native Kevin McPeek will open the show.

Tim Wilson will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Monroe Community College La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theater, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe. Tickets are $32 for VIP seating and $22 for reserved seating. Information: 734-384-4272 or www.monroeccc.edu/theater.

Send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.



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