PHOTO CALL: Saving Aimee, With Carolee Carmello and Judy Kaye, in Seattle

By Lucas Lilieholm
October 20, 2011

Kathie Lee Gifford, David Friedman and David Pomeranz's musical Saving Aimee, starring Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello as 1920's evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, plays the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.



5th Avenue artistic director David Armstrong directs Saving Aimee, which began previews Sept. 30 and will continue through Oct. 29. Saving Aimee has book and lyrics by actress, writer and talk-show host Gifford, and music by Friedman and Pomeranz.

Here is a look at the production:



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Carolee Carmello
Photo by Chris Bennion



Two-time Tony nominee 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. The writers have refined the material since its debut.

The cast of Saving Aimee also includes 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).

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."

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