Carolee Carmello
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Carolee Carmello
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Carolee Carmello and Florence Lacey will star in Saving Aimee, the new musical with book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford and music by David Pomeranz about famed evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. The production, to run October 14-23 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, will be directed by Eric Schaefer.

Saving Aimee -- which was originally titled Hurricane Aimee -- traces McPherson's life from her birth in 1890 through her dogmatic and repressive childhood to her conversion to Pentecostalism at 17, her widowhood at 19, her ascension to personal and spiritual power as the charismatic leader of the Four Square Gospel Church, and finally, to her trial for corruption of morals and her tragic death of an accidental overdose in 1944.

The cast also includes Raissa Katona Bennett, Don Bovingloh, Dan Cooney, Angela DeCicco, Aisha de Haas, Matthew Gumley, Will Erat, Steve Horst, Joseph Kolinski, Matt Loney, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Victoria Matlock, Mike McGowan, James Moye, Gabi Nicole, Cristina Marie Norrup, Joe Paparella, Jim Price, and Harry Winter.

The show's creative team will consist of Christopher D'Amboise (choreography), Jim Kronzer (sets), Anne Kennedy (costumes), Chris Lee (lighting), Joanna Staub (sound design), and Paul Raiman (music direction). David Friedman contributed to additional lyrics to the show.

Carmello's many Broadway credits include Parade, for which she received a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, Kiss Me, Kate, Urinetown, and 1776. She recently completed a run as Donna in Mamma Mia!, and will next be seen at the Curran Theater in San Francisco in the Broadway-bound musical Lestat. Lacey's credits include two Broadway revivals of Hello, Dolly, Evita, and The Grand Tour. She was most recently seen in New York in Under the Bridge, also written by Gifford and Pomeranz.

Gifford is known primarily for her television work, most notably the Emmy-winning talk show Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. She is also a well-known singer and recording artist. Gifford starred on Broadway in Putting it Together and in the Helen Hayes Theater Company's production of Thumbs.