SCANDALOUS: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson
Book and Lyrics by KATHIE LEE GIFFORD
Music by DAVID POMERANZ and DAVID FRIEDMAN
Nearly 100 years ago, few women had the power to revolutionize the world. She did it with show business…and salvation.
As announced on NBC’s “Today,” this fall, celebrated stage actress and two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello (Parade, Mamma Mia!, Sister Act) will star in the new Broadway musical SCANDALOUS: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson.
With book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman, SCANDALOUS begins performances at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre (250 W. 52nd St.) on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Opening Night is set for Thursday, November 15 (6:30 p.m.).
Kathie Lee Gifford has been working tirelessly for the past 13 years on this Broadway-bound musical about the life of Foursquare founder Aimee Semple McPherson. Kathie Lee has been a long-time admirer of Sister Aimee and it was while attending Oral Roberts University in the 1970s that she first heard of the evangelist’s ministry.
“I remember being amazed by the stories I’d heard about her, and that turned into a lifetime fascination,” states Kathie Lee.
This lifetime passion propelled Kathie Lee to dedicate herself to a project she considers a part of her life’s purpose. Scandalous (formerly known as Saving Aimee), for which Kathie Lee wrote the book, the lyrics and some of the music, is a musical about the life of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.
“I hope every person will realize that God has a purpose for them,” says Kathie Lee when asked about her hope for the musical, “that He loves them with an unfailing love and will strengthen them for the purpose He has given them.”
Along with other backers, the Foursquare Foundation, which exists to accelerate worldwide interdenominational evangelism, is partnering with Kathie Lee in bringing this musical to Broadway.
“Aimee was a remarkable leader who made a profound impact not only in Hollywood but all around the world. Her story needs to be told and we are proud to support Kathie Lee Gifford’s creative account of her story.” said Dr. Greg Campbell, Executive Director of the Foursquare Foundation.
Directed by David Armstrong, SCANDALOUS is 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 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 while enduring claims of scandalous love affairs and growing controversy.
SCANDALOUS marks Carolee Carmello’s 12th Broadway show. One of the theater’s most respected and sought-after leading ladies, Ms. Carmello’s recent Broadway credits include Mother Superior in Sister Act; Alice Beineke in The Addams Family (Drama Desk nomination); Donna Sheridan in the long-running hit Mamma Mia!; Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown and Lilli Vanessi in the revival of Kiss Me, Kate; in addition to her Tony-nominated performances as Gabrielle in Lestat and Lucille Frank in Parade.
SCANDALOUS: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson is produced by Dick and Betsy DeVos, Foursquare Foundation and Jeffrey Finn, Executive Producer, in association with The 5th Avenue Theatre (David Armstrong, Executive Producer and Artistic Director; Bernadine Griffin, Managing Director; Bill Berry, Producing Director).
Visit SCANDALOUS online at www.ScandalousOnBroadway.com
ABOUT KATHIE LEE GIFFORD (Book, Lyrics, Additional Music): Kathie Lee Gifford has enjoyed a diverse and successful four-decade career as a television host, actress, singer, playwright, songwriter and author. She’s best known for her 15 years on “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” (11 Emmy nominations), and is currently the three-time Emmy Award-winning co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today” show with Hoda Kotb. Gifford made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together in 2000, then originated the role of Marta Dunhill in Rupert Holmes’ Thumbs and played Miss Hannigan in a record-breaking run of Annie at Madison Square Garden. In 2005 her first musical Under the Bridge (book and lyrics) opened Off-Broadway. She contributed three songs to Hats!, the musical, has recorded numerous CDs and is a three-time New York Times best-selling author. Mrs. Gifford lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children and three dogs.