The new musical Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson opens tonight at the Neil Simon Theatre. Written by Kathie Lee Gifford (Book and Lyrics), David Friedman (Music), and David Pomeranz (Music), Scandalous is an original musical based on the life of a controversial female evangelist who was world-renowned in the 1920s to 1940s. The musical has been a passion project for Gifford, who has been fascinated by McPherson for decades and wanted to musicalize her story.
During its preview period, which began on October 13, Scandalous has not been without its troubles. The show has struggled to sell tickets, even earning the lowest average admission ticket price of any Broadway show last week. Making matters worse, star Carolee Carmello had to go on vocal rest yesterday due to voice strain, necessitating the cancellation of two performances right before opening night. Hopefully being rested up will enable Carmello, a Broadway veteran who is highly-regarded in the theatrical community, to give a knockout performance on opening night.
Kathie Lee Gifford
The annual “Broadway on Broadway” concert will be back in Times Square on Sunday, September 9 at 11:30AM. This free event, beloved by Broadway fans, literally fills Times Square with people as Broadway performers ascend a specially constructed platform to sing out to the masses.
Kathie Lee Gifford has been tapped to serve as host this year. In addition to her hosting experience on the morning talk show Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, as well as her current stint on the fourth hour of The Today Show, Gifford actually has a direct involvement in Broadway this season. The upcoming musical Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson features a book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford.
The complete list of “Broadway on Broadway” participants this year hasn’t been announced yet, but traditionally nearly every musical contributes a song, and stars of the upcoming season’s plays often come up to introduce songs.
“Broadway on Broadway” gives fans an excellent opportunity to get a ‘sneak peek’ of upcoming shows by seeing a musical number performed here for free. Many shows also pass out branded merchandise to the crowd. But to get a spot near the stage, it is advisable to arrive a few hours early.