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February 15, 2013

L.A. Megachurch Reportedly Put $2-Million Into Broadway Flop

Los Angeles's Foursquare Church invested $2-million in a musical based on the life of its founder, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, which ran on Broadway for less than a month before closing late last year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Greg Campbell, executive director of the affiliated Foursquare Foundation, left the church within days of the December 9 closure of Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, which was written by television personality Kathie Lee Gifford. A month earlier, before the show opened on Broadway but after it had previewed to poor audience and critical response, the church replaced almost all of the foundation's board.

In announcing the shake-up on November 8, the church listed dissatisfaction with the Scandalous investment as one reason for the move, but in a new statement to the Times it said the departures of Mr. Campbell and most of the board were "unrelated" to the show. Foursquare also declined to reveal its losses, but the newspaper cited two unnamed clergy members in reporting the $2-million figure.