"Today" co-host Kathie Lee Gifford got some tough news on Tuesday.
The play she wrote and brought to Broadway is closing after just three weeks. Following its opening on November 15, "Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson" will end after the matinee performance on December 9. Gifford wrote the musical's book and lyrics.
The musical was based on the true story of Aimee Semple McPherson, an evangelist and broadcasting pioneer in the 1920s. The production received harsh reviews, many criticizing Gifford's book. The New York Times' theater critic Charles Isherwood wrote that "'Scandalous' isn't so much scandalously bad as it is generic and dull."
Gifford addressed the harsh reviews on the "Today" show, saying that it seemed like audiences were enjoying themselves despite the negative reviews.
UPDATE: Gifford discussed the show's closing during the first couple minutes of the fourth hour of the "Today" show.
"We did some have sad news to announce, that we did post our closing date," Gifford said with teary eyes. "Yesterday we had to. I was with the cast last night. I'm prejudice of course, I'm the mother of this show. But they're the best cast on Broadway. They're unbelievable. And I love them to pieces. There's a sadness that comes with this."
Gifford said that Broadway was badly hit by Hurricane Sandy and that many of the new shows did not recover. "I just want to encourage everybody. If you're in town, if you're in New York, go see some of these shows that are here for a short time. It just means the world for our performers to have people in the audience. There's lots of great shows out there. Give it a chance. And to everybody who has come to see it, and loved it, and stood and cheered, God bless you. Thank you for coming."
She added, "It's taken a while to find our audience because nobody knows what our show was. You know what's happening now, this is kind of the sad part about it. People are coming back second, third, fourth and even fifth times now because they love it so much. If you are one of those people—bless you."
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