Surviving Grace Closes Off-Bway June 16

News   Surviving Grace Closes Off-Bway June 16 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 end its Off-Broadway run June 16 following a valiant ad campaign.

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 end its Off-Broadway run June 16 following a valiant ad campaign.

The play opened March 12 to largely negative reviews but was kept afloat by its deep-pocketed producers. Illeana Douglas and Doris Belack ("Tootsie") played daughter and mother for the first three months, before Valerie Landsburg (TV's "Fame") stepped in to play the daughter May 28.

By the close, 22 previews and 111 regular performances will have played.

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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 kept the show alive, but not vivacious. Some 41,000 people saw the show. Matt Mulhern took 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. Cynthia Darlow plays Lorna and James Hindman plays Morton. Jerry Grayson plays Jack, the dad.

Previews began Feb. 21, with Illeana Douglas as Kate and Doris 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.

For tickets ($30-$55) and information on Surviving Grace at the Union Square Theatre, call (212) 307-7171.

—By Kenneth Jones