Broadway Comes to Barnes & Noble in July

b&nThe 86th Street location of book and music retailer Barnes & Noble in New York City will host two events of interest to Broadway musical fans this month. On July 9 at 4pm, the release of the cast recording for the new Tony-winning revival of Pippin will be celebrated when the show’s cast comes to perform. They will also sign copies of the album for fans.

On July 16 at 6pm, B&N will host a signing for the cast recording of Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson. The musical had a short life on Broadway last season, but its star, Carolee Carmello, is well-loved in the Broadway community and will be performing at the album signing event. The musical’s authors, Kathie Lee Gifford and David Friedman, will also be on hand.

The 86th Street Barnes & Noble is located at 150 East 86th Street in Manhattan. Visit BN.com for more information.

Scandalous and Chaplin Announce Closing

Two of the Broadway fall season’s new musicals, Scandalous and Chaplin, have announced closing dates.  Chaplin, the bio-musical about the life and career of silent film star Charlie Chaplin, is going to hold out through the holiday season before closing on January 6, 2013.  Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, however, is only playing through the end of this week, concluding its run at the Neil Simon Theatre on December 9.

Both shows struggled throughout their runs to find an audience, which is often a problem for original Broadway musicals.  Of the two, Chaplin did better, which may have been due to a combination of fairly good reviews, the fact that the title character is a well-known figure, and the buzz surrounding star Rob McClure’s performance.

With the backing of Kathie Lee Gifford, who co-wrote and regularly plugged the show on TV, Scandalous was expected to perform better.  But the musical had a difficult time selling tickets.  At its lowest point, the average paid admission for the week only amounted to $23.77.

Scandalous Opens on Broadway

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.