'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 RyanDemocratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' Trump lashes out at Reagan Foundation after fundraising request The Memo: Trump's grip on GOP loosens as polls sink 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 TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 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 CoonsCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Thomas Isett Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Dr. Kate Broderick Making vulnerable children a priority in the pandemic response MORE (D-Del.), Reps. Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciPelosi, Blumenaur condemn 'egregious abuses of power' by Trump against Oregon protestors Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT US attorney calls for investigation into unmarked federal agents arresting protesters in Oregon MORE (D-Ore.), Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency House committee requests hearing with postmaster general amid mail-in voting concerns GOP coronavirus bill includes .75 billion for construction of new FBI building 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 McDermottSondland has 'no intention of resigning,' associate says Three women accuse Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct Portland hotel chain founded by Trump ambassador says boycott is attack on employees MORE (D-Wash.),  Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellRevered civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis lies in state in the Capitol House approves Clyburn proposal to rename voting rights bill after John Lewis John Lewis carried across Edmund Pettus Bridge for last time 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.