As announced on the Thursday, July 19 edition of NBC “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 on Saturday, October 13, 2012.
Opening Night is set for Thursday, November 15 (6:30 p.m.).
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 making sensational headlines and attracting overflow crowds of thousands throughout the world. Time Magazine named Aimee Semple McPherson one the most influential people of the twentieth century.
Scandalous marks Carolee Carmello’s 12th Broadway show. 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.
Carmello will be joined by two-time Tony Award winner George Hearn in his return to the Broadway stage. In his 19th
Broadway show, Hearn will portray the dual roles of James Kennedy, Aimee’s kindhearted father; and Brother Bob, a popular preacher whose growing resentment of Aimee and her public power fuels him to vehemently discredit her from his pulpit.
George Hearn created the role of Max von Mayerling in the Los Angeles premiere and Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard for which he received his second Tony Award. He won his first Tony Award for originating the role of Albin in La Cage aux Folles, a role that he reprised in London and earned him an Olivier Award nomination.
He received Tony Award nominations for Putting It Together, A Doll’s Life and Watch on the Rhine. He won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of the title role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street after having played the role on Broadway and the national tour with Angela Lansbury. He returned to the role in May, 2000 with the New York Philharmonic and in the summer of 2001 with the San Francisco Symphony and the Ravinia Festival in Chicago for a concert version that co-starred Patti LuPone.
His other Broadway appearances include Wicked, The Diary of Anne Frank with Natalie Portman; Meet Me in St. Louis; I Remember Mama with Liv Ullman; Ah, Wilderness! with Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards; An Almost Perfect Person with Ms. Dewhurst; The Changing Room and A Time for Singing.
Additional casting will be announced soon.
With choreography by Lorin Latarro (Fanny at City Center) and musical direction by Joel Fram, Scandalous features scenic design by Walt Spangler (Desire Under the Elms), costume design by Gregory A. Poplyk (Broadway debut), lighting design by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Once, Aida), sound design by Ken Travis (Newsies, Memphis) and orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza).
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).