Playbill is reporting that a Western Pennsylvania School is canceling their production of Kismet in the wake of the anniversary of 9/11. This follows ‘concerns raised by community members over staging the Baghdad-set musical about a Muslim street poet so close to the tenth anniversary of 9/11’.
Apparently some ‘community members’ learned nothing about the importance of tolerance or the power of prejudice from 9/11 and its aftermath. Furthermore, this kind of a decision just reflects that this is a community where cultural bridges need to be built to promote tolerance – and a great opportunity for that, working on a show like Kismet which is derived from hybrid influences (the lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest are matched to the music of Alexander Borodin, with a book by Charles Lederer and Luther Davis based on a play by Edward Knoblock) in a school community where there is a huge potential for learning more than just the discipline of getting a show together, has been missed. What a pity.