Kathie Lee Gifford's THE AIMEE PROJECT - Formerly SAVING AIMEE - Set for Broadway Opening This Fall?
While no official announcement of the production has yet been made, according to an Equity casting notice Kathie Lee Gifford, David Friedman and David Pomeranz's new musical, THE AIMEE PROJECT will open on Broadway sometime this fall at a theater to be announced. According to the notice, David Armstrong will direct, alongside Joel Fram as the musical director and Lorin Latarro as the choreographer. Rehearsals are listed as beginning in September of 2012.
According to a description included with the notice, the show is a "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."
In 2007, a version of the musical, then entitled Saving Aimee, about evangelist Aimee McPherson, premiered at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia starring Tony-nominated actress Carolee Carmello. Carmello reprised her role this past fall when the production played Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. She was joined by Judy Kaye, Roz Ryan, Ed Dixon and Ed Watts in the production. David Armstrong also helmed that installement. For a peak at that production, check out the video below.
While no official casting for the upcoming Broadway run has been annouced, the audition notice does note that the roles of Aimee Semple McPherson, Robert Semple (her husband) and David Hutton have been cast.
CLICK HERE for the casting breakdown.
Kathie Lee Gifford (book, lyrics and contributing composer) is best known as the 2 time Emmy-winning co-host of the 4th hour of NBC's Today Show, alongside Hoda Kotb. Also celebrated for her fifteen-year run on the talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Ms. Gifford is an experienced singer, songwriter and actress. As a lyricist she contributed many musical numbers to Hats!, inspired by the experiences, philosophies, and mission of the Red Hat Society. She has collaborated twice with composer David Pomeranz, first with Under the Bridge, based on the children's book The Family Under The Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson and again with Saving Aimee. She has also collaborated with composer David Friedman twice, beginning with Saving Aimee, and again in 2008 with a musical for young audiences entitled KeyPin.It.Real. She is currently working on a musical adaptation of It's A Wonderful Life with composer John McDaniel. She has recorded and released 16 albums of popular music. She appeared as Miss Hannigan in Annie at Madison Square Garden and appeared on Broadway in Putting It Together.
Composer David Pomeranz is a well-loved singer, composer, and lyricist, who has written songs for pop singers including Barry Manilow's #1 hit singles "Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again" and "The Old Songs." His work has been performed by artists as diverse as Bette Midler, Phoebe Snow, Freddie Mercury, Richie Sambora, Missy Elliott, The Carpenters, Harry Belafonte, Andrea Marcovicci, Donna Summer, Lillias White, and Cliff Richard, and his various songwriting projects have amassed a total of twenty-two platinum and eighteen gold albums. His compositions for the stage include the West End hit musical Time; Little Tramp, based on the life and career of Charles Chaplin, staged for the Eugene O'Neill Theater Festival and presented in a concert version in St. Petersburg, Russia; and a musical adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities for the Theatre Royal, Windsor, and the Alexandria Theatre in Birmingham. With Kathie Lee Gifford he has written two projects, Under The Bridge, which premiered Off-Broadway in January 2005, and Saving Aimee, which debuted at the White Plains Performing Arts Center in October 2005 and was staged at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia in April-May 2007.
Composer David Friedman has written songs for pop artists including Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, Petula Clark, Allison Kraus, Laura Branigan, and cult star Nancy LaMott, among many others. Mr. Friedman was the Musical Supervisor and Vocal Arranger for the Broadway presentation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and has acted as the musical director on Broadway productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Little Prince and the Aviator, and Saravá. He was the conductor of scores for Disney's animated features that include Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and vocal contractor for Mulan. Mr. Friedman has worked twice previously with Seattle's Village Theatre to create musicals including Stunt Girl and Chasing Nicholette. He is a regular on the Today Show's "Everyone Has a Story" series, and writes a new song with Kathie Lee Gifford each month, which he performs with a current Broadway star on the first Thursday of each month.
Photo Credit: Monica Simoes