The Corner

Entering The Competition

I have taken up Derbyshire’s challenge, and hereby redirect all dismayed groans in his direction.

“My Spare Lady” — A fond, musical look back at a charming era. A complex man skilled in manipulating dialect to great effect discovers a young lass and, through copious personal attention, transforms her into a national celebrity. Here’s the twist: he is president of the United States. Includes these classic showstoppers: “The Reign of Pain Stays Mainly in the Stain,” “You Did It,” “Cigar Gavotte,” and “Get Me to the Court on Time.”

“Bantam of the Opera” — In the spirit of Evander Hollifield’s (mercifully short) stint on “Dancing With the Stars,” some of the world’s toughest but smallest boxers pair up with their favorite vocalists to bring great operatic duets to the Broadway stage. No one will be admitted during the poignant “I Will Dance in your Honor” from Carmen, which includes a surprise cameo by a certain fleet-of-foot heavyweight.

“[Still] Crazy for You” — A new London production of this classic melange of Gershwin show tunes features the newest musical-theater sensation: MP George Galloway. Some of the familiar numbers in this show, particularly popular among London’s new East Enders, include “Singing to Hussein,” “No One to Watch Over Me,” “Slap That Face,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and “Untraceable You.”

John Hood is a syndicated columnist and the president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina–based grantmaker.

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