Loyal "Today" show staffers stayed out well past their bedtime Thursday night to celebrate the opening of Kathie Lee Gifford’s new musical, "Scandalous."
"We wouldn't miss this," Matt Lauer told The Huffington Post about the project that has taken Gifford more than 12 years to bring to Broadway. "We love her."
The musical tells the story of controversial evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. The show doesn't gloss over the complexities of McPherson, who was once accused of faking her own death. The tabloid media documented her remarkable rise to becoming one of the most powerful women in America as if she were the Kardashian of her time. Interestingly, Kardashian matriarch and one of Kathie Lee’s friends, Kris Jenner, attended opening night.
"You can’t believe her dedication to it," Regis Philbin told The Huffington Post. "I remember her playing Joy [Philbin] and me songs from the show when she first started writing it. The amount of work that goes into doing this is incredible."
Kathie Lee’s entire "Today" show family was also in the audience: Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Hoda Kotb could be seen jumping to their feet at the end of the show. Even Meredith Vieira, who is no longer on "Today," came to support Kathie Lee.
Incidentally, Hoda’s date was Liza Minnelli, whom we overheard telling friends during intermission, "This is terrific. I want to sing all these songs in my show."
But the most supportive person in the theater was Frank Gifford, who joked, "This show is finally out of my house. I will miss it."
For a night of entertainment, head to the Neil Simon Theatre in New York. You never know who you might see in the audience.