Inner Circle show is jokingly Eric Adams’ ‘inner circle of hell’

The cast of New York City journalists roasted the mayor in song and dance.

“Turks and Chaos” featured song parodies and jokes about the world of New York City politics.

“Turks and Chaos” featured song parodies and jokes about the world of New York City politics. Caroline Rubinstein-Willis/Mayoral Photography Office

Turkey – both the bird and the place – polyamory, the ghost of Flaco (may he rest in peace), a legion of deputy mayors, the indomitable Zaza Waza, the NYPD dance team, battles over chairs and veto overrides, containerized trash and more reigned Saturday night during the annual Inner Circle charity show.

The 101-year-old parody musical brings together journalists, the mayor and much of the political realm to poke fun at one another. Think the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, New York edition. Journalists, who delivered much of the comic roast via song and dance, had no shortage of material to draw from over the past 12 months. This year’s show title? “Turks and Chaos.”

Taking the Ziegfeld Ballroom stage toward the end of the night, New York City Mayor Eric Adams relayed his own take on the notoriously lengthy spectacle. “The Inner Circle – as it is known to me, the inner circle of hell,” Adams said wryly. The mayor packed a lot in his roughly 15 minute performance, dunking on his own style while performing in a skit called “What is the Mayor Wearing?” alongside Punkie Johnson of “Saturday Night Live,” dancing with Broadway singer Christina Sajous, roasting the media, convening an unconventional off-topic while flanked by a host of newly dubbed deputy mayors (including an Elmo street performer and the ghost of Flaco) and touting his successes.

“When people say New York City isn’t coming back, I say jobs are up and crime is down. When people say New York City has never been more dangerous, I say jobs are up and crime is down. When people want to know about my trips to China, I say jobs are up, crime is down,” Adams joked. “We are getting criminals off the street – just ask my donors.”

In one particularly emotional moment, he paid tribute to City Hall employee Pedro Frisneda who died this week, urging listeners to “reach out for help” when they are in a dark place.

Adams wasn’t the only elected official to hit the stage Saturday. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and state Attorney General Letitia James – whose comedic timing was indisputably sharp – drew roars of laughter and applause in pre-recorded videos.

For the third year running, Adams arrived at the show late, which meant he missed many of the cutting jokes about him, including parody song “Staying Alive” in which PIX11’s James Ford – who played the mayor himself – sung, “Well you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m in trouble man, no time to talk. Raising funds and agents swarm, feds took my phone to keep ’em warm. And now it’s all right, it’s OK, weak opponents in my way.” The chorus chimed in, “Whether you’re my brother or related to my lover you’re gettin’ a job, gettin’ a job.”

Fortunately, the mayor likely did arrive in time to see a song casting his predecessor, Bill de Blasio – played by WCBS Newsradio 880’s Paul Murnane – as “The Golden Bachelor” hailing from Park Slope, “the polyamory capital of the world.” The final number, “Campaign Scheme” set to the tune of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” brought the Inner Circle’s entire ensemble together.

“We can dance, he still thrives, having the time of his life. Ooh, tabloids swirl, watch that scene, we are the dancing team, he’s got a campaign scheme,” everyone sang as spinning lights flashed across the ballroom.