The Washington National Opera will offer a world premiere of a new work Friday night and the Washington Post is asking if it could be about Donald and Melania Trump.
It's called The Dictator's Wife.
The hour-long opera, composed by Mohammed Fairouz (the libretto is by Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif), is about the beautiful, but unhappy, spouse of a political ruler who gives her great gifts and forces her to have sex with him.
The Post was so curious if there was a Trump connection, it asked the principles.
Francesca Zambello, WNO artistic director: The production "is not set in the White House," she said. "It is not about the president-elect or his wife." But, she added, "of course there are analogies with anyone who takes power."
Ethan McSweeny, director: "This is a one-hour opera, not a Saturday Night Live sketch." . . . "I think we'd be doing it a disservice if it was limited to that."
"It could be Mrs. Putin," he added.
Mohammed Fairouz, composer: "I wanted to do it (i.e. bring out the Donald Trump associations in this production) one way or the other, whether he won or lost," he said. Now, "our closing matinee is five days before the inauguration. (If) we set this in some exotic South Asian country, we're going to look like idiots."
Although the belief is that the basis for the dictator is former Pakistani strongman Gen. Mohammed Zia ul-Haq, McSweeny said that during development of the production, "We were all joking among ourselves that if that guy Trump got elected, this would be the most politically prescient piece of opera ever produced in America. Well, that happened."
"Donald Trump doesn't have a very long shelf life," Fairouz added. "In five years, this piece is going to have to be done with a different figure in mind."
Alas, we never run out of dictators.
* HarperCollins, a division of the Rupert Murdoch empire and the publisher of Monica Crowley's What the (Bleep) Just Happened? said Tuesday it is halting sales of the book, pending the "opportunity" for the aide to President-elect Donald Trump to revise her text.
Crowley is a syndicated talk show host and Trump's pick to serve as director of communications at the White House's National Security Council. She is accused of plagiarizing numerous passages in her 2012 book lambasting President Obama.
Crowley reportedly has experience with plagiarism.
Politico.com said that evidence suggests she also plagiarized more than aa dozen parts of her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University.
Her 1999 Wall Street Journal piece about Richard Nixon also faced plagiarism allegations.
* Forbes.com reports that electronic artist Moby was gobsmacked to receive an invitation from the Trump campaign to DJ one of the inaugural balls.
Moby posted on Instagram that he would do it if he could play Public Enemy and Stockhausen to "entertain the Republicans."
* Aziz Ansari will host Saturday Night Live on Jan. 21.
He will be the show's first host of South Asian descent. Hey, it's only been on for 41 years.
Tattle hereby starts a campaign to make Priyanka Chopra (Quantico) the second.
* Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt have reached an agreement to handle their divorce in a private forum and will work together to reunify their family, the actors announced in a joint statement Monday.
Their statement was released Monday night to avoid Tattle's early deadline.
* Bon Jovi is holding a contest to choose bands or singers to open for their upcoming tour.
Artists will upload videos of themselves performing original music, and concert promoters Live Nation will select 10 finalists.
Bon Jovi management will then pick winners from the finalists to perform 20-minute sets.
The band will begin its "This House Is Not For Sale" tour Feb. 8 in Greenville, South Carolina. The tour hits the Wells Fargo Center on March 31.
* Ani DiFranco has a book deal.
The musician/activist has signed with Viking for a so-far untitled memoir that will reflect upon her "eventful and radical life."
Viking told the Associated Press on Tuesday that DiFranco plans a careful approach. In a statement issued through the publisher, she likened writing to chipping away at a "huge slab of timeless stone" and waiting for a shape to emerge.
That's what we say every day about this column.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.