The news watch may never stop but this coming weekend many New York City reporters will be “Preoccupied.” Over the past year these fine journalists have brought us the latest information on the happenings in our area and beyond, including the Occupy Wall Street movement. This Saturday night, March 31st, members of the Inner Circle Organization will help us relive those moments while raising money for dozens of local charities.
The group will take the stage at the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton to perform the 90th Annual Inner Circle Show. Late night comedians think they know how to spoof news events, however they have nothing on those who actually witness history in the making. This elite group of journalists is led by producer and organization member Larry Sutton, an Inner Circler since 1980. The reporters write, produce, and choreograph every number in the two-act parody show. They are also responsible for their own costume and set design. Music is provided by a Broadway orchestra.
Shelly Strickler, who is well known for her work on WOR radio, has been a member of the organization for 30 years. As a past president of the group and current director of the show, Stickler says the dedication of the members never ceases to amaze her. ”I marvel at how crazily-busy working journalists (print and broadcast) manage to pull together an amazingly spectacular two-hour musical political spoof.”
There have been many memorable past performances, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg descending onto the stage dressed as Spiderman, a spoof of the troubled musical (top photo). Stickler says the 2012 show will not disappoint, giving a preview: Gabe Pressman (WNBC), singing Fly Me to the Moon as Newt Gingrich, Glenn Schuck (Clear Channel and 1010 WINS), in the buff (almost) as Anthony Weiner, Melissa Russo (WNBC) as Lady Gaga, Mary Murphy (WPIX) as Hillary Clinton and Larry Sutton (OK Magazine) as Rush Limbaugh.
Other familiar media names will appear on stage along with Melissa Russo, president of the 2012 show. They include: Andrew Siff also of WNBC News Channel 4; John Slattery and Hazel Sanchez from WCBS 2 News; Ernie Anastos from Fox 5; and veteran journalists from WPIX Channel 11 Marvin Scott, Magee Hickey and Kirsten Cole.
Radio fans will enjoy watching Stan Brooks, Terry Sheridan, Sonia Rincon and Juilet Papa from 1010 WINS. Those who love CBS 880 will get a laugh out of song and dance numbers performed by Rich Lamb, Irene Cornell and Paul Murnane. Also performing are well-known bylines David Siefman of the New York Post, Lisa Colangelo from the New York Daily News and Winnie Hu of the New York Times.
It’s not easy to become a part of the Inner Circle Show. To be considered for nomination, a member must be a working journalist covering the political scene in the New York City area. Once nominated by a member of the organization, a candidate must perform an initiation act. Glenn Schuck, vice president of the 2012 show, recalls his initiation performance in 2000 during which he shocked the organization’s board by shaving his head. Schuck says, “I had a coworker of mine, Steve Sandberg, take out an electric razor and shave my wavy hair right down to the scalp.” Since then one of Schuck’s most memorable performances was that of “The Naked Cowboy.” (Photo above from last year’s show, from left, Glenn Schuck, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jennifer Madden, and Diana Taylor).
The first act of the two hour musical backed by a Broadway orchestra will feature local news coverage, while the second act focuses on national and international news. However, the show stopper will take place when the current Hizzoner, Michael Bloomberg performs his 11th show. In the past, The Billionaire Mayor sang and danced with the Broadway casts of Chicago, Spamalot, and Mary Poppins, and once rode out of the show on a donkey that he dubbed “The Burro of Manhattan.” He’s also appeared on stage with co-stars Caroline Kennedy and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Even Snookie of Jersey Shore fame took time out of her so called “busy schedule” to co-star one year with Bloomberg.
Tickets to the black tie charity event are still available. An open bar cocktail hour begins at 7 p.m. followed by a sit down dinner and then the show. Individual tickets are priced at $750. Tables of 10 can be purchased for $7,500. Preferred seating is available for tables of 10 that are priced at $10,000 with additional tickets $1,000 each.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.innercircleshow.org