The Inner Circle cast of “Preoccupied,” and later Mayor Mike Bloomberg accompanied by stars of a Broadway musical, showed a sold-out crowd at the Hilton New York how to really succeed in show business.
But for awhile it seemed as if April Fools had come a few hours early when a technical glitch delayed the March 31 performance of “Preoccupied.”
Following their own showstopping performances, the Inner Circle cleared the stage for Hizzoner to return the jokes and barbs with help from stars Nick Jonas, Beau Bridges and other cast members of “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.”
Mayor Mike, of course, retitled his show “How to Succeed By Bloomberg” in which he mentors a young man working on the restoration project at City Hall to have bigger goals in life and offers him tips to reach them.
This 2012 Show night will be remembered for being one of the Inner Circles best shows. But it will have a place in our hearts for another reason. The teleprompter malfunctioned just before the first act. The show was delayed for some 45 minutes while President Melissa Russo, Show Producer Larry Sutton, Director Shelly Strickler, Musical Director Kathy Beaver and many others plotted the next move. Meantime cast members scurried back to the dressing rooms for copies of the script and broke out into a groups, cramming to memorize lines and lyrics. Soon two prompter boxes on the stage were working and the order was given to raise the curtain.
Once on stage everything went well and all the numbers were flawless. But during the president’s thank-yous following Act 2 and the traditional singing of “Inner Circle Parade Passes By,” the Hilton rat attacked. Right in the middle of Melissa Russo’s remarks, the hotel’s fire alarm system went off blasting a loud horn through the Grand Ballroom. Borrowing from her experience as a live TV reporter, Melissa carried on without a bump, even at one point calling out to her husband FDNY Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Frank Gribbon if he could help. After a couple of minutes the alarm turned off and Melissa prevailed.
But the late start along with the usual interminable wait between our show and the mayor’s made for an unusually long night even by Inner Circle standards.
Mayor Mike made his entrance by going down a slide and continued for about an hour with mostly tame jokes, songs and dance. He joked about yet another term and allowed himself to be passed in a repeating somersault from one cast member to another.
Best of all, the 2012 Inner Circle show was a hit on and off the stage. The packed house meant more proceeds for the dozens of charities helped by the benefit performances.