The last patient I gave one of those to won the Kentucky Derby

With the New York City Opera set to announce their new director tomorrow, that means there’s less than 24 hours left to place wagers on who it will be. Now, I admit, it seems futile to resist the juggernaut of Ryan Tracy’s candidacy, but nevertheless, let’s look at the current odds.

George Steel: 2-1

Good news: Knows the city, knows the business, makes the crazy modern music a hot ticket.
Bad news: Leaving Dallas Opera before he’s barely started will only feed to the undercurrent of insecurity that results in Texas constantly foisting demagogues on the rest of the country.
Quote from the future: “What? I’m just going to lunch. The fully-packed suitcase is just a trendy accessory. All the kids are doing it. Trust me.”

Rudy Giuliani: 5-1

Good News: High profile, proven fundraiser, might keep him from running for president again.
Bad News: Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain will be axed in favor of a Frank Wildhorn-penned extavaganza about 9/11, starring Ronan Tynan as Rudy Giuliani.
Quote from the future: “Why certainly; I’d be happy to answer that question about our current budget shortfall 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11.”

Oprah Winfrey: 30-1

Good news: As it turns out, a free new car under every seat does wonders for the State Theater’s acoustics.
Bad news: Entire production budget is used up staging Margaret Garner eight times a week.
Quote from the future: “I think you owe it to me and my audience to explain why you pretended to be a seamstress with tuberculosis when, in fact, you weren’t.”

Jesus Christ: 50-1

Good news: Dominion over all creation, will work for cheap.
Bad news: Entire production budget is used up staging Parsifal eight times a week.
Quote from the future: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose the chance to update Tannhäuser to hippie-era Haight-Ashbury?”

The Village People: 80-1

Good news: Costume budget for Regietheater-inspired productions drops to virtually zero.
Bad news: Inaugural season cancelled by crippling strike after Construction Guy decides to go all Joe Volpe and break the unions.
Quote from the future: “Tell the bank that you need a loan / Go sell your house and every little thing that you own / You’ll make your dream, forget that you’re an unknown / You’re gonna be a star, a big star”

Joe Volpe: 100-1

Good news: Bored; could use the challenge.
Bad news: Bored; could use the challenge.
Quote from the future: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

HAL 9000: 250-1

Good news: Balances budget by reorganizing operations with superhuman, optimum efficiency.
Bad news: Inability to process conflicting, illogical information leads to him killing the entire cast of I Puritani.
Quote from the future: “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do…” (Continues singing as tinny electronic voice gradually gets slower and deeper, until finally Robert Wilson hires him to play Sarastro)

Critic-at-Large Moe: 1000-1

Good news: Infallible taste in both singers and repertoire; encyclopedic breadth of knowledge; savvy negotiator; peerlessly eloquent advocate for the arts.
Bad news: Needs to be walked twice a day; obsessed with tennis balls.
Quote from the future: “I knew our staging of the complete Licht cycle would sell out. Dogs don’t play all that poker for nothing.”

Update (1/14): Mr. Steel paid $6.60, $3.40, and $2.60.


  1. I was going to pick Volpe–I can’t resist a longshot–but luckily I didn’t get to the window in time.“If Henry Kissinger can win the Nobel Peace Prize, I might wake up tomorrow morning and find out I won the Preakness.”–Hilary Henkin and David Mamet, <>Wag the Dog<>

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