Writers: Luther Davis Charles Lederer Robert Wright George Forrest Alexander Borodin


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Edward Noblock's 'Kismet' (1911 play)
Number of Acts
Tony Award®
Best Musical 1954
First Produced
Comedy, Romance
Spectacle, Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
A fictional Baghdad, Islamic Golden Age
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Some Dance
Ideal for
Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes late teen, young adult, adult, mature adult, elderly characters


With extreme cleverness and a fair amount of luck, the poor but wily Poet rises from the streets of Baghdad, avoids losing a hand when put on trial for theft, and is instead given the title of Emir by the Wazir of Baghdad. Meanwhile, the Wazir is in debt and has taken out a loan with the King of Ababu. In return, he must now marry the Caliph to one of Abbabu’s princesses...or all three! This plan hits a snag when the Caliph falls in love with the Poet’s beautiful daughter, Marsinah, while traveling around the city incognito. He announces his plans to the Wazir, who is not best pleased and relies on the assistance of his new Emir. In a series of unfortunate circumstances, Marsinah is spotted within the Wazir’s harem and announced as his new bride to the devastated Caliph. Realizing what has occurred, the Poet tricks the Wazir into entering a pool of water where he is drowned. Caliph and Marsinah are reunited, the Poet is pardoned for the Wazir’s murder and, for his “punishment” he is rewarded with a life in luxurious exile with the Wazir’s beautiful widow, Lalume. Exotic, seductive, and Golden Age Broadway, these events could only happen on an Arabian Night!

Lead Characters

Kismet guide sections