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.