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9/11 ceremony scraps 'Bridge' song after Christie

Thursday - 5/15/2014, 10:26pm  ET

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, left, and New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo talk at the dedication of the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, May 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Timothy A. Clary, Pool.)

JONATHAN LEMIRE
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A last-minute change avoided what could have been an uncomfortable moment in the Sept. 11 museum dedication ceremony Thursday: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie followed by "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

The original program for the ceremony had Christie's remarks followed by Idina Menzel's performance of the song. That sent social media aflutter with speculation that the scheduling was a jab at the Republican governor, whose staff was accused of intentionally clogging traffic near a bridge that connects New York City and New Jersey to punish a political adversary.

But just before the ceremony, museum spokesman Anthony Guido announced that Menzel, star of the Broadway show "If/Then," was sick. In her place, Broadway singer LaChanze, a Sept. 11 widow, performed "Amazing Grace."

Guido said the change had nothing to do with Christie or the song.

A spokesman for "If/Then," Tom D'Ambrosio, said Menzel has a cold and had to pull out of Wednesday night's performance at intermission. A post on the show's Twitter account said Menzel also was sitting out Thursday evening's performance.

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AP Drama Writer Mark Kennedy contributed to this report.


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