Van Der Beek hits L.A. stage

Actor will star in 'The Gift' at Geffen Playhouse

James Van Der Beek will topline the Geffen Playhouse production of “The Gift,” the U.S. preem of Aussie scribe Joanna Murray-Smith’s play.

Kathy Baker (“Picket Fences”), Chris Mulkey (“First Blood”) and Jaime Ray Newman also appear in the play, to be helmed by Brit director-thesp Maria Aitken (“The 39 Steps”).

Storyline centers on a young couple (Van Der Beek, Newman) and an older couple (Baker, Mulkey) who become unlikely friends during a resort vacation.  Title bowed in Melbourne in 2011.

Van Der Beek, the “Dawson’s Creek” thesp currently starring in “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23,” has previously appeared in stage projects including Edward Albee’s “Finding the Sun” at Off Broadway’s Signature Theater.

Murray-Smith’s “The Female of the Species” had a 2010 Geffen run that starred Annette Bening. Her play “Honour” got a Broadway stint in 1998.

Geffen bow of “The Gift” begins previews Jan. 29 prior to a Feb. 6 opening.

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