Scandalous, the Pop Musical About a Religious Superstar, Closes Dec. 9

By Kenneth Jones
09 Dec 2012

Carolee Carmello
Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Gifford — a singer, Broadway actress, "Today" talk-show host and humanitarian — lamented that McPherson has "fallen through the cracks of history," even though her evangelical efforts continue today.

The property's earlier titles Hurricane Aimee and Saving Aimee didn't quite hit the nail on the head, Gifford said, and the creators didn't want a marquee that suggested sermons or church. "I don't want anybody thinking that they're coming to church," Gifford told Playbill.com. "She was a Pentecostal evangelist — and that is about as theatrical as you get. I don't want to scare off anybody. I've been obsessed by her since I first heard her name more than 40 years ago in college."

Of the title change, she told Playbill.com, "We've been looking for the right title as long as I've been looking for the right story."



There have been trims and rewrites since Seattle, Gifford said. "We have so much story to tell, some of the best songs had to go…if they didn't move our story forward then they had to be sacrificed on the altar."

Who is the audience for Scandalous? Gifford, herself known as a woman of faith, said she wants "a secular audience...people of faith…people interested in history and feminism…"

While explaining that the creative goal is "to be faithful to her legacy….to what her life story teaches us," Gifford quickly added that Aimee was a force of nature, a tabloid queen, a woman who knew great love (her first husband, missionary Robert Semple) and a figure of mystery (she disappeared for a month, claiming she was a victim of a kidnapping, which could not be proved).

The Neil Simon Theatre is at 250 W. 52nd St., between Broadway and 8th Ave. 

For tickets and information, visit ScandalousOnBroadway.com or Ticketmaster.com, or call (877) 250-BWAY.