'Will on the Hill' pokes fun at 2016 election
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Let’s face it — 2016 election-related jokes write themselves, so why not take advantage of the campaign?

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That was theme of this year’s annual “Will on the Hill” performance of the Shakespeare Theatre Company on Monday night, when lawmakers, media bigwigs and D.C. influencers dressed in Shakespeare-era garb poked fun at politics and Beltway insiders.

This year’s performance featured guest actors Reg E. Cathey, who is best known for his Emmy-winning role as "Freddy" on the Netflix series "House of Cards" and Tom Story, a veteran of the D.C. theatre scene.

The performance, “Heavy Lies the Head,” by Peter Byrne, followed a scenario in which Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE (R-Wis.) has stepped down and no one in Washington will take his job.

“Hearing the Speaker called it quits is like hearing the Cubs didn’t make the [World] Series,” joked Story. “What’s Ben Carson doing these days?”

"Still waiting to come on stage,” actress Felicia Curry shot back, poking fun at his awkwardly botched debate entrance last February, as the crowd erupted in laughter.

“We all agreed there would be no Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE jokes in here,” warned Cathey. “The last thing we need is to have that man have an excuse to tweet about us.”

The hourlong performance also poked fun at Metro’s repair plan, the Keystone XL pipeline, “the war on Christmas,” people who stand on the left side of escalators — the unspoken no-no in D.C. — "Game of Thrones" binge-watchers and lobbyists representing clients such as hover board manufacturers.

“I’m a Washington insider. I listen to people and sell what I hear. My name is not important, as it will never appear,” rhymed Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, playing the stereotype of a lobbyist, as the crowd roared with laughter. “My birth certificate reads ‘deep background.’ I’m a professional tattletale. I have little birds all around the city — and for the right price I’ll tell you.”

Congressional cast members included Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsAfter Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Sunday shows preview: Russian charges, Florida shooting dominate coverage MORE (D-Del.), Reps. Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciGOP chairman questions US funding for international cancer research agency Dems want info on Labor Dept hiding unfavorable report on impacts of tip-pooling rule Ethics Committee announces lawmakers on panel probing Farenthold MORE (D-Ore.), Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyFlorida students turn to activism in wake of shooting House Dem joins protest at NRA headquarters following Florida school shooting Trump budget threatens local transit projects MORE (D-Va.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Daniel M. Donovan (R-N.Y.), Janice Hahn (D-Calif.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jim McDermottJames (Jim) Adelbert McDermottLobbying World Dem lawmaker: Israel's accusations start of 'war on the American government' Dem to Trump on House floor: ‘Stop tweeting’ MORE (D-Wash.),  Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellDem: Trump blocking memo shows he's 'not interested in transparency' Recy Taylor's granddaughter to attend State of the Union as Dem's guest After rough year, Facebook does damage control in DC MORE (D-Ala.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

Several D.C. media figures, including The Hill’s publisher, Johanna Derlega, and Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack, MSNBC’s Michael Steele, Roll Call’s Melinda Henneberger and ABC’s Rick Klein also took part.

Following the program, Rangel and McDermott, the retiring cast members, were honored for their performances. McDermott had been the longest-running congressional cast member for “Will on the Hill.”

The fundraising event, whose sponsors include The Hill, hit a new record by raising $517,000 for the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s community programs.