PHOTO CALL: Carolee Carmello, Roz Ryan, George Hearn and Cast Preview Broadway's Scandalous
By Matthew Blank
The 20th-century evangelical superstar Aimee Semple McPherson — the American religious leader who staged provocative illustrated sermons, fed the hungry and famously vanished — will sing on Broadway when Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson opens at the Neil Simon Theatre. Carolee Carmello will reprise the charismatic role that she played last fall in a Seattle tryout.
Previews begin Oct. 13. Opening night is Nov. 15. Tickets are on sale at ScandalousOnBroadway.com.
Here is a Sept. 24 press preview, held at New 42nd Street Studios:
The musical featuring book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz and David Friedman, stars two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello (Sister Act, Mamma Mia!, Parade) as Aimee.
Scandalous also stars two-time Tony Award winner George Hearn (Sunset Blvd., La Cage aux Folles, Sweeney Todd) as James Kennedy and Brother Bob, Edward Watts (Finian's Rainbow) as Robert Semple and David Hutton, Roz Ryan (Chicago, Dreamgirls) as Emma Jo Schaeffer, Andrew Samonsky as Harold McPherson and Kenneth Ormiston, and Candy Buckley (Cabaret, After the Fall, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Minnie Kennedy.
The ensemble cast includes Nick Cartell, Joseph Dellger, Erica Dorfler, Carlos L. Encinias, Hannah Florence, Corey Greenan, Benjamin Howes, Karen Hyland, Alison Luff, Jesse Nager, Sam Strasfeld, Betsy Struxness, Elizabeth Ward Land, Billie Wildrick, Dan'yelle Williamson and Matt Wolfe.
David Armstrong, artistic director of Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, where the work was seen in 2011 under the title of Saving Aimee, again directs the show, making his Broadway debut.
Music direction and vocal arrangements are by Joel Fram, choreography is by Lorin Latarro. Gifford also has an "additional music by" credit, for one bawdy song that she authored.
The creative team of Scandalous also includes scenic designer Walt Spangler (Desire Under the Elms), costume designer Gregory A. Poplyk (making his Broadway debut), Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz (Once, Aida), sound designer Ken Travis (Newsies, Memphis) and Tony-winning orchestrator Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza).
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