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Carolee Carmello to Lead Cast of Kathie Lee Gifford's Saving Aimee in Seattle

Carolee Carmello to Lead Cast of Kathie Lee Gifford's Saving Aimee in Seattle
Carolee Carmello in 'Saving Aimee'
Carolee Carmello will star in 'Saving Aimee' in Seattle.

Two-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello will reprise the role of Aimee Semple McPherson in Saving Aimee at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre this fall. Judy Kaye and Roz Ryan will also star in the David Armstrong-directed production, which begins performances September 30. The limited engagement will run through October 30, with opening night set for October 20.

Saving Aimee features music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman and book and lyrics by Today co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. Based on a true story, the musical follows 1920s celebrity evangelist McPherson (Carmello), who brought the gospel to audiences across the nation through her radio station KFSG. McPherson's behavior came under scrutiny from the press when she disappeared for five weeks in 1926. She claimed she was kidnapped, but newspapers speculated she was having an affair with a married man. Kaye will take on the role of McPherson's mother, while Ryan plays a reformed Kansas City brothel owner.

The cast will also feature Ed Dixon (Mary Poppins) as Brother Bob/James Kennedy, Ed Watts (Finian's Rainbow) as Robert Semple, Charles Leggett (The King Stag) as Asa Keyes and Brandon O'Neill (Aladdin) as Harold McPherson/Keith Ormiston. The ensemble includes Jared Michael Brown, Christian Duhmel, Richard Gray, Cayman Ilika, Brandi Chavonne Massey, Cheryl Massey-Peters, Corrina Lapid-Munter, Heath Saunders, Aaron Shanks, Tim Shew, Mara Solar, Billie Wildrick and Matt Wolfe.

Carmello received Tony Award nominations for Lestat and Parade. Her other Broadway credits include Falsettos, 1776, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Kiss Me, Kate, Urinetown, Mamma Mia! and The Addams Family. Kaye is a Tony winner for The Phantom of the Opera. She received additional nominations for Mamma Mia! and Souvenir. Her other Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd, Ragtime and On the Twentieth Century. Ryan has appeared on Broadway in Dreamgirls, Ain't Misbehavin', Chicago and The Pajama Game.

Saving Aimee premiered at the White Plains Performing Arts Center in 2005 with Carmello in the title role. Carmello again led a production of the show at the Signature Theatre of Arlington, Virginia, in 2007.

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