9/11 ceremony scraps ‘Bridge’ song after Christie

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.)

NEW YORK (AP) — A last-minute change prevented what could have been an uncomfortable moment during the Sept. 11 museum dedication ceremony: remarks by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie followed by the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

The original program for Thursday’s 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 governor over accusations that his staff intentionally clogged traffic near the George Washington Bridge 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 and would not perform. In her place, another member of the show’s cast, LaChanze, herself a 9/11 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. He said she is scheduled to perform Thursday night.

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AP Drama Writer Mark Kennedy contributed to this report.

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