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By Bonnie Carroll

Kismet presented by Sara Miller McCune and The Granada Theatre, The Santa Barbara Symphony and State Street Ballet was such a welcome experience for everyone on the weekend of October 23- 24. The original Kismet was adapted from a book by Charles Lederer and Luther Davis with music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest (from themes of A. Borodin). It was produced on Broadway in 1953, and won a Tony in 1954.  Many of the songs from Kismet were later recorded and sung by great singers through the decades including Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

The very talented cast in the Granada production included award-winning actors and singers, an amazing Kismet chorus, exceptionally talented dancers from the State Street Ballet Company and of course the stellar Music Direction of the Santa Barbara Symphony by Maestro Nir Kabaretti that was nothing short of magical. Kudos to Lonny Price for outstanding direction and the spectacular choreography by William Soleau which merged with music direction by Nir Kabsaretti to create a flawless combination of perfect ingredients for a totally pleasurable theatre experience.

Audience members, all wearing masks, left the theatre singing the praises of the amazing production, and the feeling on State Street in front of the Granada Theatre was one of joyful celebration to once again be participating in the pleasures of a live on stage production. With current Covid outdoor dining in place, the audience excitement was carried to all the popular restaurants surrounding the historic theatre and generated such a fun atmosphere. 

The weekend not only combined the best of Broadway with the best of a local Symphony to provide an amazing Kismet production, but it also provided 19th District Senator Monique Limon the opportunity to present Producer Sara Miller McCune a State of California Proclamation thanking her for her amazing contributions to the Santa Barbara community and her ongoing efforts to support social justice through her work as President and Founder of SAGE Publishing, a global company with hubs around the world. 

Sara Miller McCune was a driving force in the efforts to renovate the Granada Theatre and It was quite touching to join the entire audience standing to sing happy Birthday to this bright and generous lady on the celebration of her 80th birthday. Thank you so much Sara for achieving your dream of bringing Kismet to our community! I am certain it will go down as a theatre weekend few will forget.

For information on upcoming Granada Theatre events please visit:

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