From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Music George Forrest
Robert Wright
Lyrics George Forrest
Robert Wright
Book Luther Davis
Basis The musical Kismet
Productions 1978 Broadway

Timbuktu! is a musical, with lyrics by George Forrest and Robert Wright, set to music by Borodin, Forrest and Wright. The book is by Luther Davis. It is a resetting of Forrest and Wright's musical Kismet. The musical is set in 1361, in Timbuktu, in the Ancient Empire of Mali, West Africa.


The musical premiered on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on March 1, 1978, and closed on September 10, 1978, after 221 performances and 22 previews.

The original production starred Eartha Kitt as Shaleem-La-Lume, William Marshall as Hadji, Gilbert Price as The Mansa of Mali, and Melba Moore as Marsinah. It was directed, choreographed and costume designed by Geoffrey Holder, with sets designed by Tony Straiges. Gerald Bordman noted that the sets and costumes had "a Ziegfeldian opulence." New songs based on African folk music were added to provide "some tonal verisimiltude."[1]


Awards and nominations[edit]

1978 Tony Award nominations
1978 Drama Desk Award nominations
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography - Geoffrey Holder
  • Drama Desk Award Outstanding Costume Design - Geoffrey Holder


  1. ^ Bordman, Gerald Martin. American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle, "Act Six:Full Circuit; or, Return of the Brits" American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle (3rd ED.), Oxford University Press US, 2001, ISBN 0-19-513074-X, p. 750

External links[edit]