The cast of "Saving Aimee" performs "Such a Time as This" at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater in 2011.
The recent, unexpected success of the Tony Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon opened up the sphere of religion to the world of entertainment. If Kathie Lee Gifford has her way, Pentecostal preacher Aimee Semple McPherson will be the next historical religious figure to make it to Broadway. According to an equity casting notice for The Aimee Project, Ms. Gifford wrote the book (for you theater neophytes, the script) and lyrics, with the show tentatively scheduled to open on Broadway in fall 2012.
In the radio show "Reviving Sister Aimee," Krista Tippett describes the trailblazing evangelist as the "closest thing the early 20th century may have had to Oprah Winfrey." Aimee Semple McPherson was the first woman to get an FCC license, which she used to bring her Christian message to the radio airwaves. Audiences came out in droves for her theatrical sermons filled with costumes and props — she was almost a musical in the making. And, if the musical is anything like those revivals she held in Angelus Temple, it ought to be something beyond soul-stirring.