March 13, 2017
President Trump has taken much of the oxygen out of the political conversation dating back to last year’s campaign, so it shouldn’t be surprising that this year’s Inner Circle Show has altered its tradition of Mayor-centric titles to call the 95th edition of the charity spoof “Trumped!” with the subtitle “de Blasio to the Rescue?”
With the President making more news with his Saturday-morning tweets—and with far-greater repercussions—than Chuck Schumer does with his Sunday-a.m. press conferences, the script committee for the organization of past and present City Hall reporters is continually revising and might be forced to do so right up to curtain time April 1 at the Sheraton New York Times Square (a change of venue after 54 years across the street at the New York Hilton).
Nonetheless, there are a few elements of the show we can confidently predict (assuming Mr. Trump keeps his fingers off the nuclear codes) will remain intact.
Among them is that Mayor de Blasio, played by Rich Lamb of WCBS-radio, will be looking to gain re-election by campaigning against Mr. Trump, since none of the leading potential Democratic challengers has stepped forward to offer him a target. Those would-be hopefuls, led by City Comptroller Scott Stringer (played by Henry Goldman of Bloomberg News), will be in the unaccustomed position of rooting for a Trump aide, whoever replaces Preet Bharara, to step up with an indictment that they would treat as an invitation to enter the race.
And Michael Bloomberg (played by WNBC-TV’s Andrew Siff) figures to have a few well-chosen words for both his successor and Mr. Trump, whom he last year labeled a “con man” during the Democratic National Convention. We may also find out what Hillary Clinton’s been up to since she was last seen wandering through the woods of Westchester County.
Act 2, no surprise, will heavily focus on Mr. Trump (N.J. Burkett of WABC-TV) as well as some of his favorite associates, from Vladimir Putin (Azi Paybarah of Politico) to Steve Bannon (played by Inner Circle producer and writing-committee chairman Larry Sutton). We can tell you that, barring a late change, The Donald will be singing a Rolling Stones song.
You can also count on the usual gang of New York characters to find their way into this act, including Mr. Schumer, played by Inner Circle President Terry Sheridan. Governor Cuomo, played by this newspaper’s Richard Steier, will be accompanied by longtime companion Sandra Lee (WCBS-TV’s Hazel Sanchez) in singing about their (sometimes-conflicting) aspirations.
Cast members playing Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch (Act 1) and United Federation of Teachers head Michael Mulgrew (Act 2) will be singing of the challenges ahead for them and their members. Barack Obama, played by Jim Harney (the longtime Daily Newser now with the Brooklyn Paper) will reflect on the benefits of being succeeded by Mr. Trump, while Inner Circle Vice President Polly Kreisman as Kellyanne Conway will talk about the roller-coaster ride of working as a presidential spokeswoman who’s never at a loss for new words.
And WNBC-TV founding father Gabe Pressman will bring some moral ballast to the relationship between the Trump Administration and the fake-news media with which it is engaged in what might be called The War at Home.
Mr. de Blasio will follow the reporters’ show with—if history is any guide—a series of skits that in the past have featured guests including Louis CK, Steve Buscemi and, in an appearance she’d rather not be reminded of, Ms. Clinton.
Tickets for the dinner-roast, which are tax-deductible, are $750 and $1,000, and can be obtained by calling Melanie McEvoy at 212-228-7446, extension 12. More than $80,000 is raised annually for small local charities.