A group of high-profile individuals — including two famous actresses, a couple of well-respected broadcasters and a Super Bowl-winning coach — will be the star attractions of a special reading of the first act of an acclaimed Off-Broadway play about Alzheimer’s.
Loni Anderson, Chicago native Marilu Henner, NPR alum Diane Rehm, retired WGN-Channel 9 anchor Robert Jordan and “Da Coach” himself, Mike Ditka, will portray various characters in “Surviving Grace,” the late sitcom writer Trish Vrandenburg’s quasi-autobiographical play about her mother, Bea Lerner, and her battle with Alzheimer’s. Hosted by Northwestern University, the sold-out ensemble reading takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mary Galvin Recital Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston.
In addition to her writing career on such shows as “Designing Women” and “Family Ties,” Vrandenburg also was a co-founder of Us Against Alzheimer’s, a national advocacy organization committed to stopping the disease by 2020.
Since the debut of “Surviving Grace” at the Kennedy Center in Washington in 2001 and the next year Off-Broadway, celebrity readings of the play’s first act have been staged in cities across the country. Starring have been actors including Carol Burnett, Louis Gossett Jr. and Elliott Gould as well as less conventional cast members, including singer Helen Reddy, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and journalist Terry Moran.
To donate or learn more information, go to SurvivingGrace.org