Several celebrities — including two who have recently graced the Broadway stage — will take part in Project A.L.S. Day on June 1.
Brooke Shields, who portrayed Sally Bowles in the hit revival of Grease!, and Luke Perry, who made his Broadway debut in The Rocky Horror Show, are among the celebs who will deliver Lou Gehrig's famous "I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth speech" speech at baseball stadiums around the country on June 1. Other performers who will participate in the event include James Gandolfini, Chi McBride and William Baldwin.
Organized by Jenifer Estess, the co-founder of Off-Broadway's Naked Angels theatre company, Project A.L.S. Day will feature Gehrig's speech at nearly all of the games being played in Major League Baseball stadiums on the first of June. "Sopranos" star Gandolfini will read the famed speech at New York's Yankee Stadium; Shields at San Francisco's Pac Bell Park; McBride at Wrigley Field in Chicago; Baldwin at the Ballpark in Arlington, Texas; and Perry at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium.
Estess herself was diagnosed with A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's disease) in March 1997, and soon after she launched Project A.L.S. with sisters Valerie and Meredith and friend Julianne Hoffenberg. With a mission to stamp out the deadly disease, the foundation has received tremendous support from George Clooney, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Melissa Etheridge, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marisa Tomei and Gwyneth Paltrow. To date, the organization has raised over $11 million.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. For those who would like more information about the disease or the organization fighting the disease as well as those who would like to make donations, please write to Project A.L.S., 511 Avenue of the Americas, PMB 341, New York, NY 1001 or call (800) 603-0270 or visit www.projectals.org —By Andrew Gans