Western Pennsylvania School Cancels Kismet in Wake of 9/11 Anniversary

News   Western Pennsylvania School Cancels Kismet in Wake of 9/11 Anniversary
Musicals like Rent and Godspell have encountered resistance on the school and community levels after their acclaimed Broadway runs, and now the 1953 Tony Award-winning musical Kismet faces a similar destiny in western Pennsylvania. 

The Richland School District logo
The Richland School District logo

The Associated Press reports that the Richland School District in Johnstown, PA, canceled its February 2012 production of Kismet following 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.

The community is a relatively short distance from the Shanksville, PA, crash site of United Airlines Flight 93."We're not saying there's anything bad about the musical. We may potentially produce it in the future," school superintendent Thomas Fleming told the AP.

The school, which had previously staged Kismet in 1983, has switched to the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Oklahoma!

Kismet, a lush romantic musical, features such songs as "Stranger in Paradise," "And This Is My Beloved," "Not Since Nineveh," "Baubles, Bangles and Beads." It has a score by George Forrest and Robert Wright, based on music by Alexander Borodin. Kismet has a book by Charles Lederer and Luther Davis.

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