Carol Burnett, Marilu Henner Set for SURVIVING GRACE in LA This September
This September, a cast of Hollywood stars will take the stage for special ensemble readings of Act 1 of Surviving Grace, an original play penned by comedy writer Trish Vradenburg ("Designing Women," "Family Ties," "Kate and Allie"), co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer's a national advocacy organization committed to stopping Alzheimer's by 2020. Based on Trish's experience as a caregiver to her mother who died of Alzheimer's in 1992, Surviving Grace is a brutally honest, irreverent and moving story laced with humor that sheds light on the emotional ups and downs that 15.4 million Alzheimer's caregivers go through each day in the U.S. The play comes to California after being produced at The Kennedy Center, off-Broadway, cross-country and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The first star-studded reading was at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC last fall.
The Los Angeles performance will take place at the Stephen J. Ross Theatre at Warner Bros. Studios with honorary director James Burrows at the helm, and boasts a legendary cast including Carol Burnett, Marilu Henner, Loni Anderson, Helen Reddy and Lou Gossett, Jr. The host committee for the September 25th event also features a diverse group of performers dedicated to the cause, including Ann-Margret, Ann Archer, Elizabeth Banks, Diahann Caroll, Richard Chamberlain, Joan Collins, Chace Crawford, Donna de Varona, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Feinstein, Carrie Fisher, Peter Gallagher, Phyllis George, Whoopi Goldberg, Linda Gray, George Hamilton, Samantha Harris, Tippi Hedren, Marilu Henner, Joanna Kerns, Donna Mills, Stefanie Powers, Seth Rogen, Maria Shriver, Molly Sims, Jill St. John, Maura Tierney, Joan Van Ark, Robert Wagner, and Henry Winkler, among others.
Following the Los Angeles performance, Surviving Grace will travel to San Diego for another benefit show on September 27 at the Shiley Theatre on the campus of the University of San Diego. The San Diego production also features marquee names including local philanthropist Darlene Shiley, Helen Reddy, Diane Rehm, Marilu Henner, Susan Taylor, Robert Foxworth and Jim Laslavic, and is being presented by USAgainstAlzheimer's and B.A.B.E.S "Beating Alzheimer's By Embracing Science," an organization dedicated to harnessing the power of women to beat Alzheimer's by raising funds to support the most promising Alzheimer's research.
Both events will feature a celebrity red carpet, followed by the play reading and receptions with the casts. To purchase tickets in advance or to learn more about becoming a sponsor, please visit: www.survivinggrace.org
"I thought my mom was invincible, but she was no match for Alzheimer's. I watched helplessly as her mind, her dignity, and finally her body vanished into the unforgiving chasm of Alzheimer's," said Trish Vradenburg. "So why a serious play with a large dose of humor? Because that's how I survive life if you don't laugh, you'll cry. We have to bring this disease out of The Shadows and into the spotlight; that is why I wrote Surviving Grace and why I'm excited to be sharing it during this special event."