Tony nominees Rob McClure and Carolee Carmello deliver shining performances in short-lived productions

Rob McClure and Carolee Carmello have outdone themselves this season in two musicals that closed too soon. However neither of their notable performances have been forgotten, as they have been honored with Tony Award nominations for Best Leading Actor and Actress in a Musical.

Carolee Carmello in "Scandalous."

Carolee Carmello in “Scandalous.”

Broadway veteran and past Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello lit up the stage in a belting blaze of glory in the musical Scandalous. In the musical, she portrayed Aimee Semple McPherson, a real-life icon and evangelist who rose to fame through pure ambition and controversy.

Some events highlighted in the musical are the first ever radio broadcast license bestowed to a woman in the United States, McPherson’s journey across the country by car without male accompaniment and her enigmatic abduction and the trial that followed.

Although it was jam-packed with twists and turns and a high-spirited score, this musical was overlooked by critics and audiences. Its closing date was set within almost two months after its first preview.

Theatre-goers who enjoyed this musical can rest assured that there was one exceptional element that will not be forgotten in years to come: Carmello’s performance. Her turn as this notorious character has been universally applauded and this has been reflected in her Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. This role was the perfect fit for her vocally and she was able to show off her fierce acting ability as well.

While it’s a shame that many people missed her incredible performance, it is plain to see that with talent like hers, a Broadway hit for Carmello is surely on its way. Perhaps a long run will result for the Broadway bound Tuck Everlasting, or even another production of Ragtime which she has had her eye on to perform in for quite some time!

Rob McClure in "Chaplin."

Rob McClure in “Chaplin.”

Rob McClure earned his time in the spotlight as the title character in the musical Chaplin, but even with its original staging and magnificent story (not to mention the adorable advertisements), the show did not live to see a long run.

The musical centers on the legendary film star Charlie Chaplin. The truth about the star is exposed as the audience is able to see who he was in real-life and how he handled his fame and fortune behind the curtain. This production was the epitome of classic Broadway with its show-stopping songs, sweet ballads and precise choreography.

McClure’s portrayal was honest and deep. It was clear that he put huge amounts of time and effort into making the performance all it could be and more and critics and audiences alike noted that it was nothing short of brilliant. His nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical was not a surprise, although some may argue that the production itself should have been acknowledged more.

In the future, McClure will be appearing in the MUNY production of Shrek as the hysterical (and tiny) Lord Farquaad. The role requires extreme stamina and a fair share of high notes, both of which McClure will surely excel at.

Scandalous and Chaplin, although short-lived, are more than worthy of their nominations. Carmello and McClure are performers of the highest caliber, and it is truly fitting for their talents to be recognized, even if the shows they performed in did not receive the same level of recognition.

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