Illeana Douglas Leaves Off-Broadway's Grace May 26

News   Illeana Douglas Leaves Off-Broadway's Grace May 26 Trish Vradenburg's Surviving Grace, about a workaholic TV producer, her Alzheimer's-threatened mom, her straying dad and the temperamental star she has to coddle and control, will see one of its stars, Illeana Douglas, leave on May 26.

Trish Vradenburg's Surviving Grace, about a workaholic TV producer, her Alzheimer's-threatened mom, her straying dad and the temperamental star she has to coddle and control, will see one of its stars, Illeana Douglas, leave on May 26.

Valerie Landsburg, remembered for playing Doris in TV's "Fame," will assume the role on May 28.

The comedy-drama opened at Off-Broadway's Union Square Theatre March 12 to not enthusiastic reviews, but the producers were convinced they would be able to find an audience. Broadcast ads targeting women theatregoers and focusing on the play's mother-daughter angle are paying off.

Character actress Doris Belack ("Tootsie") plays the mom.

Matt Mulhern takes over the role of Sam Gelman from Armand Schultz May 28. Linda Hart handed over the role of Madge Wellington to Patricia Hodges May 14. Previews began Feb. 21, with Douglas as Kate and Belack as her mom, Grace, whose mind and memory are disappearing due to Alzheimer's disease. The play, a revised version of a brief Broadway play called The Apple Doesn't Fall..., is being produced by Nina Benton, with Richard Frankel serving as executive producer and general manager. George Vradenburg, the playwright's husband and executive vice president of AOL/Time Warner, is an investor in the production.

—By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones