Book by Charles Lederer and Luther Davies: based on a play by Edward Knoblock: Music and Lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest from the themes of Alexander Borodin
Ziegfeld Theatre, Broadway - 3 December, 1953 (583 perfs)
Stoll Theatre, London, 20 April, 1955 (648 perfs)
A day in the life of a glib-tongued street poet in old Baghdad. He accidentally inherits the city's most lucrative begging site, is captured by brigands from whom he tricks a small fortune in gold, hands most of it to his beloved daughter to spend on baubles, bangles and beads, purchases slave-girls and bids for a palace, gets arrested for theft and condemned to have his right hand lopped off, briefly reconciles an erring father and a hard-hearted son, thus winning a reprieve-and the lustful affection of the shapely wife of the Wazir of Police-undertakes to prevent the marriage of a love-sick Caliph, no less, and finally murders the aforementioned Wazir. Since he finds himself about to become the Caliph's father-in-law, he pronounces the only fitting sentence for such a crime, and is banished to a lonely oasis with Lalume, the Wazir's recent, willing widow, to spend the rest of his days compensating for her deprivation. For a street poet in old Baghdad, some days were like that.
For the Chorus
An exciting and dynamic score includes a fair amount of chorus work demanding careful rehearsal. There is enough work to keep dancers happily busy, and there is colourful crowd work throughout. The chorus appear as muezzins, beggars, worshippers at a mosque, citizens of Baghdad, brigands, tribesmen and shoppers, street-market hawkers, policemen, slaves and slave-masters, Asiatic maidens, merchants, members of the Wazir's household, officials, guards, prosecutors and prosecuted, and women of the harem.
Marsinah, the poet's daughter
An Ayah to Princess Zubbediya.
The Bangle Man.
Omar, another poet.
Jawan, a bandit.
Three Princesses of Ababu,
Princess Zubbediya of Damascus,
Princess Samaris of Bangalore,
auditionees for the hand of the Caliph.
Several 2/3 line roles, some including short singing solos.
The Edwin Lester production of KISMET was first presented by Charles Lederer at the Ziegfeld Theatre, New York City, on December 3, 1953, the first London performance was at the Stoll Theatre on April 2o, 1955.
MUEZZINS … LEE KENTON, LOUIS HENRY, EMLYN LEWIS, TOM SWIFT
DOORMAN … COLIN THOMAS
FIRST BEGGAR … COLIN CUNNINGHAM
SECOND BEGGAR … HUMPHREY HEATHCOTE
THIRD BEGGAR … DAVID DULAK
DERVISHES … RAYMOND RAY, JOHN BLYSDAEL
OMAR … DONALD ECCLES
A PUBLIC POET, later called HADJ … ALFRED DRAKE
MARSINAH, his daughter … DORETTA MORROW
TAMAN J … OSEPH SEALEY
HASSAN-BEN … ALISTER WILLIAMSON
JAWAN … STANLEY VAN BEERS
STREET DANCER … JOSEPHINE BLAKE
AKBAR … MALCOLM GODDARD
ASSIZ … NIGEL BURKE
THE BANGLEMAN … COLIN THOMAS
CHIEF POLICEMAN … HUMPHREY HEATHCOTE
SECOND POLICEMAN … ALISTER WILLIAMSON
THIRD POLICEMAN … JOSEPH SEALEY
THE WAZIR OF POLICE … PAUL WHITSUN-JONES
WAZIR'S GUARDS … KEN RICHMOND, GEORGE SWALES
LALUME … JOAN DIENER
ATTENDANTS … GORDON PETRIE, HARRY BAIRD
SERVANT … COLIN CUNNINGHAM
THE PRINCESSES OF ABABU … SHEILA O'NEILL, MURIEL ALI, DOREEN RIDER
THE CALIPH … PETER GRANT
SLAVE GIRLS … JUDITH SHERGOLD, PAMELA BUTLER, SHEILA BRADLEY, OLGA ROMAN
A PEDDLER … COLIN CUNNINGHAM
PRINCESS ZUBBEDIYA OF DAMASCUS … CLAIRE WARNER
AVAH TO ZUBBEDIYA … JUNE GRANT
PRINCESS SAMARIS OF BANGALORE
AYAH TO SAMARIS … BARBARA ALLARD
STREET WOMEN … ANNE MARTIN, JANE WALKER
THE WIDOW YUSSEF … BARBARA ULRIC
EXECUTIONER … ROBERT GARCIA
SINGERS: Janet Yorke, Jane Walker, Gloria Wenlock, Mary Burgess, Barbara Allard, Barbara Ulric, Anne Martin, Ruth Silvester, Frank Olegario, Alister William-son, Joseph Sealey, George Slack, Emlyn Lewis, Louis Henry, Robert Garcia, James Phillips, George Kazanzi, Lee Kenton, Tom Swift.
DANCERS : Josephine Blake, Juliet Prowse, Norma Dunbar, Ann Tyrell, Sally Webb, Maureen Sims, Elizabeth Wright, Margaret Kovac, Ann Thomas, Malcolm Goddard, Nigel Burke, John Blysdael, Raymond Ray
Scenes and Settings
- The steps of the Mosque.
- Desert Encampment.
- The Bazaar of Caravans.
- A side street (front drop).
- Widow Yussef's garden.
- A street (front gauze).
- The Wazir's throne room
- Along the route of the Caliph's procession.
- The garden.
- Ante-room of the Wazir's harem.
- A terrace, atop the harem.
- Anteroom to the harem.
- Hall of the Caliph's palace
Piano, Violin A-C, Violin B-D, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, Oboe, lst and 2nd Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, 2 Horns. 3 Trumpets, 1st and 2nd Trombones, Tuba, 2 Percussion, Harp
- OVERTURE and SANDS OF TIME - Imam and Muezzins
- RHYMES HAVE I - Hadj with Marsinah
- FATE - Hadj
- THE HAND OF FATE
- BAZAAR OF THE CARAVANS - Bangleman, Townswomen and Townsmen
- ENTRANCE OF LALUME
- ABABU DANCE I
- NOT SINCE NINEVEH - Lalume
- NOT SINCE NINEVEH—DANCE - with Townspeople
- EXIT AFTER NINEVEH and STOLEN ORANGES
- BAUBLES, BANGLES AND BEADS - Marsinah, Bangle Man, Merchants, Silk Merchants, Caliph, Townspeople
- THE POET AND THE SLAVE GIRLS
- SLAVE GIRL - Lute Solo
- THE POETS ARREST—PARADISE GARDEN
- STRANGER IN PARADISE - Marsinah, Caliph
- THE ABABUS GO SHOPPING
- HE'S IN LOVE - Policemen
- THE WAZIR'S PALACE
- THE WAZIR'S COUNCIL
- GESTICULATE - Wazir, Lalume, Hadj, Council
- THE CALIPHS NEWS - 3 Fanfares
- FATE—FINALE ACT I - Company
- NIGHT OF MY NIGHTS - Caliph, Chorus
- STRANGER IN PARADISE—REPRISE - Marsinah
- BAUBLES, BANGLES AND BEADS—REPRISE - Caliph
- HE'S IN LOVE—REPRISE -Entourage and Omar
- THE EMPTY LITTER and THE WAZIR'S SPIES - Entourage and Caliph
- WAS I WAZIR? - Wazir
- RAHADLAKUM - Lalumewith Hadj
- AND THIS IS MY BELOVED - Hadj, Marsinah, Wazir, Caliph
- THE POETS MEET
- THE OLIVE TREE - Hadj
- THE WAZIR'S WEDDING
- THE CALIPHS DIWAN
- ZUBBEDIYA - Ayah, Male Guests
- SAMARIS' DANCE
- ABABU DANCE II
- FROM THE RUBAIYAT
- THE WAZIR IS DEAD
- FINALE ACT II - Company