Kathie Lee Gifford, the librettist, lyricist and driving force behind the new Broadway show, Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, visits THEATER TALK with three of show's stars – Carolee Carmello, George Hearn and Roz Ryan – to discuss McPherson, the charismatic evangelist who captured America's attention in the 1920s. They also talk about life, Hota Kotb and the different forces that brought the talented quartet together to create this new American musical.
The interview premieres at 1 a.m. on Friday, November 23 (2012; early Saturday morning) on Thirteen/PBS, followed in New York City on CUNY TV* Saturday at 8:30 PM, Sunday at 12:30 PM, and Monday at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM. The series is co-hosted by Michael Riedel of the New York Post and executive producer Susan Haskins. After broadcast, the interview can be viewed online at http://www.cuny.tv/show/theatertalk/PR2001389.
Gifford, no stranger to ballyhoo herself, describes McPherson as "the P.T. Barnum of the pulpit." Carmello, playing the title role, calls it "the role of a lifetime." Hearn says of McPherson, "She ruffled a lot of feathers." Beyond McPherson, the actors talk about their careers: Gifford having subbed for Carol Burnett in Broadway's Putting It Together alongside Broadway legend Hearn in 1999, Ryan being catapulted from a successful nightclub career in Detroit onto a Broadway stage with the debut of Ain't Misbehavin in 1978, and Carmello, having had no ambitions in the theater, becoming a full-fledged Broadway star.
THEATER TALK is the weekly series dedicated to the world of the stage. The program is jointly produced by the notfor-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. It is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 60+ participating public television markets nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The TDF/TAP Plus Program, The CUNY TV Foundation and The Friends of THEATER TALK.
*CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is carried in New York City's five boroughs – on Channel 75 on Time Warner and Cablevision, Channel 77 on RCN, and Channel 30 on Verizon FiOS.