Kathie Lee's
Saving Aimee
blog

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On Sunday evening our cast gave their final performance of SAVING AIMEE. It's hard to describe the emotions we were all feeling. Of course, everyone was tired. Of course, everyone was looking forward to time off with their family and a chance to catch up with old friends. Everyone was homesick and looking forward to going home and sleeping in their own bed. But I sensed a tremendous sadness, too. It has been such a joyful, creative journey and everyone had dedicated themselves 100% to making SAVING AIMEE the best it could be. Everyone had completely inhabited their character and received fabulous reviews for their efforts. It was time to celebrate but strangely, we didn't throw much of a party.

Mostly, we all talked about how much we were going to miss each other and going to the Signature Theater 8 times a week to make SAVING AIMEE come to life.

Even though we knew the final day was coming, none of us were happy to see it come.

So we said goodbye with heavy hearts and headed home to different futures. Carolee will once again be center stage for Wednesday's matinee of Mamma Mia. She has been nothing short of miraculous as Aimee Semple McPherson and never failed to bring the audience to its feet. Steve Wilson is re-joining the national tour of Sweet Charity, Adam Monley is leaving to play Curly in Oklahoma in Kansas City for 3 months, E. Faye Butler and Flo Lacey are looking forward to some quiet time at home with their husbands, and Ed Dixon is planning on reprising his sensational role of the Major General in Pirates at the Papermill Theater in NJ. Andrew Long is joyfully expecting the birth of his first child.

Eric is already knee-deep in rehearsals for Signature's next show, The Witches of Eastwick. It has a star-studded cast and, once again, orchestrations by our own Bruce Coughlin who received a Tony nomination for Grey Gardens today. Congrats to him!

Of course, we all hope to be reunited sometime soon to continue our SAVING AIMEE journey. We don't know yet which direction it will take, but there are on-going discussions about the possibility of moving it to New York. Time will tell.

In the meantime we all take a deep breath and say a prayer of thanksgiving for the success of our production and a prayer of safekeeping for one and all until we meet again.

I thank the cast and crew of SAVING AIMEE for their hard work and dedication to excellence. A special thank you to the tremendously talented Washington ensemble and orchestra led by Jenny Cartney. Well done!

As for me, I'm going to take a few days to adjust to civilian life again and reacquaint myself with my family. Spring is in full swing in Connecticut and I have so much to be grateful for.

Dreams are tricky things. But they're always worth the dreaming.

God Bless,


Kathie Lee

Webmaster's Note:
Click here to check out this chat recently hosted by the Washington Post

Kathie Lee Gifford talks about 'Saving Aimee," a musical based on her book and lyrics about early 20th century evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, plus other things like "Regis and Kathie Lee" and her many other TV and stage roles.

The Reviews Are In

"Saving Aimee," is an engaging little musical with a compelling storyline and plenty of spunk.

--VARIETY


Lightning Strikes at Signature Theatre
Come and see this show at the Signature BEFORE it becomes the huge hit I predict it will become on Broadway. And most importantly, come and see Carolee Carmello in a role that was written for her and a performance you will never forget.

--BroadwayWorld.com


Saving Aimee, now enjoying its world premiere full production at Virginia's Signature Theatre, is a high-energy jog through the life of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, a media superstar of the 1920s and 30s. It's a rousing experience, thanks to a group of tour-de-force performances, especially from Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello in the title role, and songs by Kathie Lee Gifford, David Pomeranz, and David Friedman.

--Theatermania.com


Signature packs more good times into just under three hours in the spectacular new musical about the fascinating career of 1920s evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson than just about any other new show here in the Potomac Region. or for that matter, 250 miles north on Broadway…Signature has a must-see hit on their hands and musical theater lovers in the region better flock to be part of Aimee's flock.
 
--Potomac Stages Online

Opening Night!


Some of the girls from the ensemble.
 

Eric Schaeffer our director with David and Kelly Pomeranz
 

Matt, Michael and James ‘forming a Michael sandwich’
 

More cast members enjoying the celebration
 

Flo Lacey (with her husband Tim) being hugged by composer David Friedman

Childhelp - 4/19/07
Hi Everybody. It’s been one of the busiest months of my life here in D.C.
 
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month so I have been involved in several of Childhelp’s activities on Capitol Hill. I continue to be amazed and inspired by Sara and Yvonne and all the members of their team who work so tirelessly to help the millions of children who suffer from such cruel abuse.
 
Please click on to the link provided to visit Childhelp’s website for an update on all the latest news, especially the new Childhelp Alert that we should all sign up for immediately.
 
www.childhelp.org
 
 
On the SAVING AIMEE front, we’re close to the finish line. It’s hard to explain the mixed emotion I’m feeling. Naturally, I’m ready to birth this baby I’ve been “pregnant” with for so long. But I’m reluctant to let go of the creative process I love so much and all the talented collaborators I’ve grown to respect and appreciate.
 
At some point we simply have to agree “this is our story, this is our show.” And let it go.
 
I must say I’m looking forward to spending some quiet time in Connecticut with my beautiful family who’ve been so understanding of Mama’s ‘obsession.’
 
I hope you’ll be able to experience in person a performance of SAVING AIMEE and I hope you’ll come away from it inspired by this incredible real life woman who accomplished so much during her short life on this earth.
 
See you at Signature Theatre!
 
Kathie Lee

Backstage - 4/13/07
Our costume designer on Saving Aimee, Anne Kennedy, and one of our ensemble members, Diego Prieto, backstage at a performance.

Behind the Scenes - 4/9/07
Eric Schaeffer (director of Saving Aimee and Signature Theatre’s artistic director), you-know-who, and David Friedman, one of the composers for the show.

Christopher D’Amboise working on his laptop at rehearsal.

Watching Tech - 3/31/07
Frank and I flew to Palm Beach last night for Jimmy Nederlander's 85th birthday celebration. I just love this man. He's a true giant in the theater world, but he's been such a guiding force in my life. Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

Today was a big day--our first day on the set watching the show come to life. 'Tech' is the most grueling part of the process. Stopping and starting over and over again to make sure all the lighting and blocking cues are synched up. But it's fascinating to finally see the different layers coming together.

Tonight Christine and I are travelling home to be with our families on Palm Sunday. Wishing you all a blessed holiday.

Here’s a shot of our lighting designer, Chris Lee (on left) and our director, Eric Schaeffer on the set.

Saving Aimee Rehearsals - 3/28/07
Really great work going on. All the actors are finding their rhythm and the material is starting to get into their DNA. The set is rising and so is the excitement. I wish everyone could be here to experience it.

Ed Dixon, who played Armand in UNDER THE BRIDGE and plays Bob Bueller in SAVING AIMEE, rehearses with cast.

Rehearsals - 3/26/07
Rehearsal continues...

Fifth Day of Rehearsal - 3/23/07
Choreographer Christopher D’Amboise with some of the girls from the ensemble.

Third Day of Rehearsal - 3/21/07
Third day of rehearsal. Couldn't be more thrilled with this spectacular cast. Every scene is coming to life just as I'd envisioned, and Eric is staging the shows so compellingly. The 2 new songs are exactly what we needed to move the story and the characters ahead. I'm the happiest starving playwright in the world.


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