Interesting topic for a musical. Excellent performances, particularly from lead actress Carolee Carmello. She has quite the belt that does not disappoint even once during the show. The problem with the show is the book. With the title “Scandalous,” you’d expect the musical to weave the story of Aimee Semple around scandal. This doesn’t really happen until we get to the last few minutes when the book throws blackmail, politics and media persecution into the mix – the real scandal. I left the show wondering who this woman really was because the book does not make it all that clear.
The music is serviceable, although I will probably buy the cast recording when it comes out. Too many big belty numbers for Carmello and the chorus. After a while the numbers come at you with numbing effect like a slap in the face. In addition to a book that is a hot mess, music that is mediocre, there is a rather ugly, modern-looking pulpit set that is visible all the time. It moves to the sides on occasion but looms over this production, never getting out of the way.
Scandalous is one Broadway musical that could easily be missed, with the exception of Carmello. Wait for the cast recording.