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Playfully poking fun at the medieval garb performers don for the event, Harman said, “It’s good to see that Democrats and Republicans are participating together. It makes me think that maybe if they wore silly hats and costumes in the Capitol they could get something done!”

Harman joined Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign Trump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama Family, friends mourn death of Barbara Bush MORE (R-Maine), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning MORE (D-Vt.), and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerLet's hold Facebook to the same standards as other players in the industry Cindy Hyde-Smith sworn in as Mississippi's latest senator Miss. Dem touts campaign poll saying he leads GOP candidates in Senate race MORE (R-Miss.), along with 17 members, “Veep” star Anna Chlumsky, and eight Washington insiders — including The Hill’s Managing Editor Bob Cusack — in taking the stage at the humor-filled, one-night-only show.

Participants received the script the day of the performance and were only given two hours of rehearsal time.

With most Capitol Hill regulars sporting Shakespearean-style robes — and a few speaking with mildly convincing British accents — the group put their acting skills on full display for the play, “Toil and Trouble.”



Reps. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyRepublicans refuse to back opioids bill sponsored by vulnerable Dem Dem lawmaker calls on Fox News to fire Hannity Overnight Energy: Former Pruitt aide alleges more wasteful spending, retaliation | Senate confirms EPA No. 2 | Zinke backs off big park fee increases MORE (D-Va.), 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.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s 'Toil and Trouble' Photo by Kevin Allen.

The scenes were meant to offer a glimpse inside Washington’s media circus, with the staff of a news network put on high alert after the White House announces it will deliver a major statement at any moment.

With nothing to go on, but plenty of airtime to fill, two TV anchors, played by Chlumsky and actor Todd Scofield, try to hold onto their audience by bringing on a series of political guests – all of whom have been attending a Shakespearean costume ball.

Some of the gags included the accuracy of the news (“Look – I’m not going to make things up – that’s CNN’s job,”), the sensationalism of the media (“Civil conversation? Potential compromise? Not our finest hour,”), the political system as a whole (“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them – the rest are members of Congress”), and individual members of Congress (“Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE – the lord of all policies fiscal, the master of the P90 … X!”).



Anna Chlumsky, Todd Scofield in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s performance of 'Toil and Trouble.' Photo by Kevin Allen.

And the mysterious news everyone was waiting for? An official apology from President Obama for letting Beyonce lip-synch the national anthem at the inauguration. 

Tickets from the sold out show — The Hill was among the media sponsors — raised more than $400,000 for the education and outreach programs of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.