THE INNER CIRCLE
In an ancient time when ink-stained journalists stalked the corridors of power in New York City there sprang up an organization called the Inner Circle. Founded in 1927, the group, composed of City Hall reporters –– then all newspapermen –– began sponsoring fund-raising dinners which included a satirical show sending up the current political scene.
All these years later, their mainly electronic offspring contine the tradition, each April mounting a musical revue that lampoons municipal malfeasance and Hizzoner's miscues. The journos themselves portray the politicos with minimal makeup, medial musicianship and maximal malice. The sitting Mayor, straining to be a good sport, joins in onstage, and his typically ridiculous appearance often warrants some light-hearted press coverage the following day. Over time the show has expanded to include more digs at Washington and the national scene. For more on the event's history visit innercircleshow.org.
This year's 94th Annual Inner Circle Show is entitled SHAMILTON and will take place Saturday April 9 at the New York Hilton. The image to the left depicts blood enemies DeBlasio and Cuomo preparing to duel à la Hamilton and Burr as rapsodized by Lin-Manuel Miranda in his Broadway smash. Finding a seat will be tough if you're not a member of the New York press corps, but no tougher than getting in to the namesake show.
Our own Randy Jones has been illustrating the commemorative program since the mid-90s and has produced a flood of hilarious images reaching from the Dinkins through the DeBlasio administrations. Below is a sampler of some of Randy's finest covers preceded by two earlier efforts –– A John Vliet Lindsay from 1970 by John Pierotti, a cartoonist for the pre-Murdochian New York Post and an Ed Koch from 1988, by Jerry Schlamp, who worked for the Daily News. For more cover art, there's some spotty coverage here.
Randy's work includes four Giulianis from 1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999, and two Bloombergs from 2004 and 2011.
An hour and a quarter north of London, Ontario, in rustic Huron County, the Blyth Festival is flourishing this summer. Running from June 24 (the first budding tree) until September 12 (the first snowflake), it's a theatrical season of five original Canadian plays.
Now What's brightest Northern Light, Randy Jones, was commissioned to create posters for four of the plays.The stunning results are pictured here. E. Basil St. Blaise, our critic and a favorite subject of Randy's, has written of the Festival, 'What Blyth glory?'
If you're vacationing up north this summer, it sounds like an intriguing alternative to the nearby Stradford and Shaw Festivals.
TOBY OR NOT TOBY?
The answer is definitely Toby! Toby and the Nutcracker, the latest in a series of delightful children's books concerning the adventures of an intrepid weiner dog, has just been published. It's described as 'a re-telling of the Christmas tale "The Nutcracker" featuring Toby, the dachshund and his canine friend Babka.'
It follows Toby and the Firebird and Toby the Flying Dachshund, two other whimsical adventures written by Maxine Fisher and illustrated gorgeously by Tom Hachtman, creator of Gertrude's Follies. They seem like ideal gifts for a doxie lover of any age.
THINK AND DIE 25th ANNIVERSARY
After being left to rot for twenty-five years on VHS tape, the never-whispered-about, seldom remarked upon, subterranean, almost-sorta-kinda-maybe minor classic short, Think and Die, has resurfaced on the Internet to almost universal indifference.
Undeterred, Producer Tom Scarpino is humping the flick like he's praying for a sequel. He lightly dusted off the original print, added a meandering insider interview, a few scattered notes, a list of the complete cast and crew, and little else. How can you resist? Menahem Golan, where are you when we need you? Click here NOW!
THE SHUNGA GAMES
Master cartoonist Matthew Martin, who contributed mightily to INX in the day, has a new show Down Under billed as
a drawing exhibition of sex, humour and the joy of making lines on paper.
It's entitled Shunga and includes a tasty selection of his takes on that unique style of Japanese erotic art. If you're local or on walkabout be sure to stop in.
162 Queen Street Woollahra NSW
Sunday 14 - Sunday 28 September 11am - 5pm
Another satirical wizard of Oz, Bill Leak, published this cartoon in The Australian. Note the t-shirt on the second suspect –– it features a reproduction of Tom Hachtman's ISIS logo from Levant on the Edge on this site's What Not page. Tom tells us the legendary illustrator Robert Grossman provided inspiration for the cutting-edge design. Thanks all around.