Monday, July 23, 2012

Kathie Lee Gifford’s Scandalous Musical to open on Broadway this fall

Aimee Semple McPherson (Carolee Carmello) addresses the court
in "Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson.
Photos by Chris Bennion (Production)
/ 5th Avenue Theatre

Whether you love her or hate her, you’ve got to hand it to Kathie Lee Gifford. For many years now, she has been writing and re-writing a stage musical and on the July 19 edition of NBC’s “Today” show, she announced that the musical, “Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson” will makes its Broadway debut this October.

This event also marks David Armstrong’s debut on Broadway as well. Armstrong is the Executive Producer and Artistic Director for the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington where the musical premiered last year.  Under his leadership , The 5th Avenue has emerged as one of the nation's leading musical theater companies especially in regards to the development and production of new work. Over the past 10 years the company has produced 14 new musicals, five of which have transferred to Broadway.

David Armstrong
Photo: Mark Kitaoka
Previously titled, “Saving Aimee,” the musical features book and lyrics by Gifford and music by David Friedman and David Pomeranz. Just like its premiere, the show will star two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello, her 12th Broadway show. Carmello's recent Broadway credits include Mother Superior in “Sister Act;” Alice Beineke in “The Addams Family;” Donna Sheridan “Mamma Mia!;” Penelope Pennywise in “Urinetown” and Lilli Vanessi in the revival of “Kiss Me, Kate.” Additional casting will be announced soon.

The press release for“Scandalous” describes the show as “Based on the life of Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944), the world's first media superstar evangelist -- a woman whose passion for saving souls equaled her passion for making sensational headlines and attracting overflow crowds of thousands throughout the world. Time Magazine named Aimee Semple McPherson one the most influential people of the twentieth century. Set in 1920's Los Angeles, holiness collides with Hollywood in this extraordinary tale of one remarkable woman's charismatic rise to fame amidst scandalous love affairs and growing controversy, inevitably ending in her much-publicized fall from grace.”

“Scandalous” begins performances at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre on Saturday, October 13, 2012.  Opening Night is set for Thursday, November 15. (Originally posted on

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