Mayor Bill de Blasio with actor Steve Buscemi in a 2014 Inner Circle promo. Not that the Mayor ever goes to the gym…
(Photo: City Hall)
Have you ever been part of the “Inner Circle?”
Entertaining New Yorkers since 1923, this famous show (more here) is an annual charity event where New York City’s political reporters spoof the President, Mayor and top politicos in the state and nation.
“In song and dance, the reporters, including many who can actually sing and dance, and a few who make a valiant effort, review the news in biting dialogue and song lyrics,” the organizers note.
Topics surrounding Mayor Bill de Blasio take center stage as print, broadcast and digital media members make light of his reign. The Governor and the President are not spared either. Then the Mayor himself, joined by an arsenal of special guests, gets rebuttal time with songs, dance numbers and/or skits.
Tickets generally run $500 and up. But we know an “inside” secret.
The event, themed this year “Curb Your Narcissism,” will be held Saturday, April 21st at the New York Hilton Midtown (53rd and Sixth Ave), 6 p.m. It includes cocktails, a full dinner and New Yorkers dressed to the nines, often with 2,000-plus attendees, and it runs for several hours.
But for those of us interested in a festive evening without the price tag, you can attend the Dress Rehearsal on Friday, April 20 that 6 p.m. for $10 in advance (plus a minor service fee) or $20 at the door.
“It has all the trappings of the fully-paid dinner to be held the next night — except for the meal and the appearance of Mayor de Blasio,” organizers note. “But attendees don’t have to don formal wear.” They also can bring their own food and libations! Just get there early for the best seats. Staff, alums, agency colleagues, friends and others are invited to attend; feel free to organize a group or divisional outing. The run-through gives cast a chance to perfect their performance.
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The show’s April 21st promo.
But you can be there for the April 20th dress rehearsal.
· 4/20 Dress Rehearsal / $10 Advance Tickets – sign up here.
· 4/20 Dress Rehearsal / Same-Day $20 Tickets – show up at the door.
· 4/21 Full-Price tickets – if you prefer the fancy event, sign up here.
THE EVENT’S AMUSING HISTORY:
The Inner Circle started in the 1920s when City Hall reporters held dinners to satirize the politicians they covered. It has been going strong ever since. The Inner Circle is a 501(c)3 charity; profits are distributed to neighborhood charities in the New York City area recommended by Inner Circle members.
Julie Andrews (L) joins Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) in a famed skit of Victor, Victoria
from 1997’s Inner Circle.
The dinner is NYC’s answer to the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Inner Circle – Some Highlights:
· 1923: The first–ever Inner Circle satirized Governor Alfred E. Smith in a musical comedy called “The Supersmith.”
· 1947: Governor Thomas E. Dewey and Mayor William O’Dwyer were parodied in “The Axeman Cometh.”
· 1954: Governor Dewey and Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. were lampooned in “Ringmaster.”
· 1960: Mayor Wagner cut his vacation in the Bahamas short so that he would be able to attend the Inner Circle.
· 1962: President Kennedy, Governor Rockefeller and Mayor Wagner were parodied with a song called “The Unsinkable Bobby Wagner, or How to Succeed in Politics Without Really Trying.”
· 1967: Mayor Lindsay appeared in a sequined tie, dancing such popular dance moves as The Frug and The Swim.
· 1984: Mayor Koch appeared in drag, in a gold lamé bodysuit, with a mechanical pigeon on his head.
· 2000: Knowing Mayor Giuliani’s calm demeanor, they themed the show “Living la Rudy Loca.”
· 2016: Hillary Clinton makes a guest appearance and thanks Mayor de Blasio for his (delayed) endorsement.
Inner Circle – Mayoral Rebuttals:
In 1966, Mayor John Lindsay performed a song-and-dance routine with actress Florence Henderson, instead of a speech, setting a precedent which continues into the present day:
· Ed Koch once emerged from the mouth of a man-eating plant from the Broadway show Little Shop of Horrors.
· Mayor David Dinkins put on a comedic newscast with Mary Tyler Moore and Gregory Hines.
· In 1997, Rudy Giuliani‘s appeared in a pink gown, blond wig, high heels and makeup, calling himself “Rudia,” and proceeded to sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” in falsetto. Later, in 2000, he was dressed on stage in male disco garb, spoofing John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
· Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared with the casts of the Broadway shows Chicago, Spamalot, Mary Poppins, and Mamma Mia! He has also been accompanied by Caroline Kennedy and quarterback Eli Manning and once made his exit astride a donkey which he dubbed “The Burro of Manhattan.” In 2010, the Mayor, in full hippie regalia, performed in “Mair”, a sendoff of Hair. He also dressed as Spider Man, being lowered to the stage on parachute straps.
(Sources: Wikipedia, Inner Circle Archives)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his 2010 spoof of Hair.
· More Inner Circle history here.