It’s official: Carolee Carmello is headed to Broadway this fall in Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson. The musical, featuring book and lyrics by Today co-host Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman, will begin previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on October 13 and open on November 15, directed by David Armstrong. No other casting has been announced.
Carmello discussed the musical, which has been in development for more than seven years under the title Saving Aimee, in a Role Call feature with Broadway.com published on July 18. The two-time Tony nominee has headlined productions of show at White Plains Performing Arts Center (2005), Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA (2007) and 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle (2011), the latter mounting directed by Armstrong.
Set in 1920s Los Angeles, Scandalous is based on the life of the first superstar evangelist, a woman whose passion for saving souls equaled her passion for making headlines and attracting crowds. She rose to fame amid scandalous love affairs and controversy, which ended in a much-publicized fall from grace. “It’s the role of a lifetime,” Carmello told Broadway.com.
The Broadway production will be choreographed by Lorin Latarro, with musical direction by Joel Fram, scenic design by Walt Spangler, costume design by Gregory A. Poplyk, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Ken Travis and orchestrations by Bruce Couglin.
A two-time Tony nominee for Parade and Lestat, Carmello is currently playing Mother Superior in Sister Act. Her Broadway credits City of Angels, Falsettos, 1776, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Kiss Me Kate, Urinetown, Mamma Mia! and The Addams Family.
Scandalous will be produced by Dick and Betsy DeVos, Foursquare Foundation and Jeffrey Finn, Executive Producer, in association with the 5th Avenue Theatre.