the 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
Theatre, Broadway - 3 December, 1953 (583 perfs)
Stoll Theatre, London, 20 April, 1955 (648 perfs)
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.
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.
the poet's daughter
An Ayah to Princess Zubbediya.
The Bangle Man.
Jawan, a bandit.
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.
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.
… 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
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.
: 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
steps of the Mosque.
The Bazaar of Caravans.
A side street (front drop).
Widow Yussef's garden.
A street (front gauze).
The Wazir's throne room
the route of the Caliph's procession.
Ante-room of the Wazir's harem.
A terrace, atop the harem.
Anteroom to the harem.
Hall of the Caliph's palace
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
and SANDS OF TIME - Imam and Muezzins
HAVE I - Hadj with Marsinah
HAND OF FATE
OF THE CARAVANS - Bangleman, Townswomen and Townsmen
SINCE NINEVEH - Lalume
SINCE NINEVEH—DANCE - with Townspeople
AFTER NINEVEH and STOLEN ORANGES
BANGLES AND BEADS - Marsinah, Bangle Man, Merchants, Silk
Merchants, Caliph, Townspeople
POET AND THE SLAVE GIRLS
GIRL - Lute Solo
POETS ARREST—PARADISE GARDEN
IN PARADISE - Marsinah, Caliph
ABABUS GO SHOPPING
IN LOVE - Policemen
- Wazir, Lalume, Hadj, Council
CALIPHS NEWS - 3 Fanfares
ACT I - Company
OF MY NIGHTS - Caliph, Chorus
IN PARADISE—REPRISE - Marsinah
BANGLES AND BEADS—REPRISE - Caliph
IN LOVE—REPRISE -Entourage and Omar
EMPTY LITTER and THE WAZIR'S SPIES - Entourage and Caliph
I WAZIR? - Wazir
- Lalumewith Hadj
THIS IS MY BELOVED - Hadj, Marsinah, Wazir, Caliph
OLIVE TREE - Hadj
- Ayah, Male Guests
WAZIR IS DEAD
ACT II - Company
Girls - Brilliant new London
based girl group