Carmello (Parade, Hello Again, Lestat, The Addams Family) created the role of McPherson in the 2007 world-premiere staging of Saving Aimee at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA.
She will reunite with the creative team, who have returned to refine the material since its debut. Saving Aimee has book and lyrics by actress, writer and talk-show host Gifford, and music by Friedman and Pomeranz.
The cast will also include Tony winner Judy Kaye, fresh off the world premiere of Tales of the City, as Minnie Kennedy; Roz Ryan (Dreamgirls) as Emma Jo Schaffer; as well as Ed Dixon (Mary Poppins, Sunday in the Park With George); Ed Watts (Finian's Rainbow); Charles Leggett; and Brandon O'Neill (Aladdin at the 5th Avenue).
5th Avenue artistic director David Armstrong will direct the musical that is scheduled to begin previews Sept. 30 toward an Oct. 20 opening. Saving Aimee will run through Oct. 30.
Completing the ensemble are Jared Michael Brown, Christian Duhmel, Richard Gray, Cayman Ilika, Brandi Chavonne Massey, Cheryl Massey-Peters, Corrina Lapid-Munter, Heath Saunders, Aaron Shanks, Tim Shew, Mara Solar, Billie Wildrick and Matt Wolfe.
According to the 5th Avenue, "This is the powerful true story of 1920's evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, who catapulted to unexpected stardom as the founder of the first mega-church and a media empire. The rise and fall of a woman cloaked in intrigue, embroiled in scandal, and at the heart of one of the nation’s first sensationalized trials, Saving Aimee, celebrates the unstoppable force of a powerful woman inspired to great heights in a man's world."