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In January, 2007, while visiting her boyfriend, John Ballinger in New York, Los Angeles-based actress Uma Nithipalan, at the age of 27, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and fell into a week-long coma -- during which she suffered a stroke. Doctors gave her a 20% chance of surviving.
But survived she has -- the subsequent four years have been an endurance test of therapy and rehabilitation, attempting to regain speech and motor co-ordination -- during which Ballinger married her, and Nithipalan has volunteered her own services to help victims of aphasia. Health insurance? Excuse me while I clear my throat. Recovery has been at the so-far $30k-plus mercy of friends and strangers. This is why Bootleg Theater, in conjunction with L.A.'s music and theater communities, are holding a benefit for the latest round of therapy. This is happening Sunday, May 1, beginning at 7pm and lasting until the bands go home. All proceeds go to pay for Nithipalan's neurological rehabilitation. Scheduled to perform include Jessica Basta, Bruno Coon, Laura Martin , Missincinati , Leslie Stevens, Christine Tavares, Kristen Toedtman and Leo Trio
CHECK BACK HERE ON TUESDAY for reviews of CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS, Sam Shepard's play at Open Fist Theatre; HIDDEN IN THIS PICTURE Aaron Sorkin's movie-making comedy at Renegade Theatre (formerly the Actor's Playpen) in Hollywood; HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY AND NEVER BE FOUND, Fin Kennedy's play at Theatre @ Boston Court; THE POOL OF BETHESDA California Repertory Company presents Allan Cubitt's tale of a post-op surgeon experiencing hallucinations of artist William Hogarth; THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE Neil Simon's rat-race comedy, at GTC Burbank; RIDING THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS WITH BILLY HAYES The author of Midnight Express has a one-man show at the Hayworth; STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center; SUPER SUNDAY Stephen Collins' comedy about a Vietnam vet turned ad executive whose wife takes an interest in a younger man, presented by Moth Theatre; THE UNREQUITED (BETWEEN TWO WORLDS) Cornerstone Theater Company presents Lynn Manning's world premiere, based on S. Ansky's The Dybbuk, in Watts.