Presented by Sara Miller McCune. At the Granada Theater, Saturday 23 October.
This joyous production brought something truly unprecedented to the Granada scene. While we’ve had Broadway tours, ballets, and symphony concerts in the past, it was all that came together in one, and more, as it heralded the return of two good organizations. -loved on their home stage for the first time since the pandemic struck in March 2020.
Kismet, an old-school Broadway musical, features a love story, memorable tunes, awesome dancing, and plenty of jokes. The fact that it is set in a medieval Muslim community comes after the various traditional Broadway roles that these good actors were chosen to play. Like Hajj, the poet, Jonathan Raviv sang and pulled himself out of a dozen sticky situations with the kind of wacky ingenuity associated with Groucho Marx. As his nemesis, the Police Wazir, Austin Durant delivered a prominent comedic performance, including the widely entertaining second act number “Was I Wazir?” “
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Ani Djirdjirian sang wonderfully in the role of ingenuous Marsinah, the faithful daughter of Hajj and the lover of the caliph. Ariel Neydavoud portrayed the Caliph with a mixture of haughtiness and seriousness befitting both a descendant of Muhammad and a young man in love. Their duet on “Stranger in Paradise” was the romantic climax of Act I and left audiences eager to see these two lovers reunited.
What made this show an excellent choice for the Santa Barbara Symphony and the State Street Ballet was revealed in Act II, when it became clear that great attention would be paid to this fascinating cultural anomaly, the Seraglio . Thanks to the excellent choreography created by William Soleau, ensemble acts such as “Radhalakum”, “Samahris’ Dance” and “Zubbediya” have allowed SSB ballerinas to combine a classical technique with breathtaking gymnastics and numerous va-va – vintage Broadway voom. Maestro Kabaretti led his orchestra through these polyrhythmic segments like the frontman of a supercharged big band, thus creating the heightened atmosphere necessary for the fantastic world of Kismet to come to life.
Images of Heidi Bergseteren
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