'Will on the Hill' pokes fun at 2016 politics

Greg Nash

Wherefore art thou, members of Congress?

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On Tuesday night, you could find many of them taking the stage at the packed Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington and yukking it up in the annual “Will on the Hill” benefit performance.

Lawmakers, including Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), shared the stage with members of the press and professional actors, such as “Mad Men's” Harry Hamlin, to perform “Lend Me Your Ears.”

The plot centered around a leading candidate in the presidential primary, who ran his campaign without any publicity. Set on Super Tuesday, the identity of the candidate is a mystery. The campaign visits a small town, where a festival celebrating Shakespeare's 450th birthday is being held.

The script chided both sides of the aisle and various government agencies, ranging from outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

During one bit, a superPAC tried to bribe or ahem, influence, the presidential candidate's top aide. The superPAC's name? The Americans for an American Future for America (AFAAFFA for short, natch).

Another bit focused on the the candidate's family members running a public campaign for healthy eating and regular exercise — a la Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative — but were getting worn out.

“They're making me eat kale. And drink kale,” the candidate's wife said. “It's just too much!”

Playing the candidate's campaign manager, Hamlin mocked one former commander-in-chief’s newfound passion, quipping, “You're my assistant – which is like saying that George W. Bush is a painter.”

The actors also got in a jab at posturing for the upcoming presidential race: “The results of the midterms remain to be seen, but it's not to early to compete for 2016!”

Other members who made cameos included Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

The Hill’s Managing Editor Bob Cusack and The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank also got in on the Shakespearean action. The Hill served as a media sponsor of the event.

The evening raised more than $450,000 for Shakespeare Theatre's education and outreach programs.

 

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