Kathie Lee Gifford's 'Scandalous' musical heads from Seattle to Broadway

Kathie Lee Gifford's 'Scandalous' musical heads from Seattle to Broadway
Actress Carolee Carmello originated the role of Aimee Semple McPherson in Seattle in 2011. Carmello will reprise the role on Broadway later this year.

SEATTLE --   Kathie Lee Gifford is familiar with scandal, but now a scandal born right here in Seattle is paying off big for the popular TV host.

A musical written and produced by Gifford at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle last fall will open on Broadway later this year under the direction of the theatre’s David Armstrong.

‘Saving Aimee’ as it was called here during its run has been refined and renamed ‘Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson.’

Gifford made the announcement on The Today Show this morning.

"I can't even believe the words are coming out of my mouth today," she said. "A lot of weird words have come out of my mouth over the years, but we're announcing today that a musical I've been writing for going on 13 years now will be coming to Broadway this fall."

Gifford talked with KOMO News last fall about her musical.

“I’ve always said Billy Graham would make the worst musical because there is no scandal in his life,” said Gifford.  “With Aimee there was nothing but scandal.”

The musical tells the story of McPherson’s life:

SCANDALOUS is the new musical based on the life of Aimee Semple McPherson, the world's first media superstar evangelist, whose passion for saving souls equaled her passion for making headlines. Set in 1920's Los Angeles, holiness collides with Hollywood in the extraordinary tale of one woman's charismatic rise to fame amidst scandalous love affairs and growing controversy, inevitably ending in her much-publicized fall from grace.

“She just broke all the rules and yet she accomplished an amazing legacy that lives on today,” said Gifford.

‘Scandalous’ is the latest in a string of musicals first produced at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre and then propelled by their success to Broadway.  Seattle to New York shows include Jekyll & Hyde, Hairspray, The Wedding Singer, Shrek the Musical and Memphis. 

Actress Carolee Carmello originated the role of Aimee at the 5th Avenue Theatre to critical acclaim.  Carmello is set to reprise her role as part of the Broadway cast.  Director David Armstrong also remains with show.

The 5th Avenue Theatre issued a statement expressing congratulating Armstrong on his Broadway debut.

“Seattle has known for years what Broadway is about to learn: David Armstrong is a wonderful and talented director,” said The 5th’s Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin in the statement.  “We are so proud to see him reach this remarkable milestone in his career, and for The 5th to send its seventh new musical to Broadway.  We are excited to see Saving Aimee take on a new life on the Great White Way as Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson.”

‘Scandalous’ is set to begin previews at the Neil Simon Theatre October 13th and then opening night is scheduled for November 15th 2012.