Lahti on ‘Law & Order’ gig

Soprano offers New Yorkers a treat

BELIEVE IT or not, I have never seen an episode of “Law and Order” – not a single one.

It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could miss it, but please read on, say I, the veteran coverer-of-showbiz. This TV show is so ubiquitous and is a true phenomenon of 20th and 21st century television.

In this context, on NBC’s new season of “Law and Order: SVU,” we had the treat of watching one of our most talented actresses do her stuff.

I am talking about Christine Lahti, a gifted woman who is playing a New York district attorney on this show and one of a different stripe than we are used to.

I asked Christine if her D.A. is a shady lady?

Christine: “Yes, she is pretty shady and the role has been a challenging arc for me and I am so glad I did it. She is a force.”

Liz: “Christine, are you telling me that there are law enforcement people who have a bit of villainy in their makeup? Can that be true?”

Christine: “I am afraid to break it to you, Liz, but I fear it’s true. I have to burst your bubble.”

Here I switched off on “Law and Order: SVU” and asked about Christine’s long, happy 26-year marriage to screenwriter-director-producer Thomas Schlamme. The actress responded: “Tom is doing great. He is busy writing six new shows and they will all, naturally, be picked up and be amazing. (Laughter here!) And my twins are in the 11th grade, living at home with us in Santa Monica and my oldest son is a senior at USC film school. We are doing fine!”

I asked Christine if she had made a movie lately and she raved about a little million dollar independent titled “Flying Lessons,” which she made with Hal Holbrook and Maggie Grace. It will try its luck at the Sundance Film Festival.

SOPRANO Danielle de Niese knocked them dead Monday night down at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. This performance kicked off the singer’s new hotly anticipated Decca recording, “The Mozart Album.” She squeezed it in on her night off from her performance as saucy Susanna in “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Danielle, born in Australia, raised in L.A. is of Sri Lankan and Dutch parentage. She got her first break at age nine when she won a competition with a Whitney Houston medley. Danielle is in the tradition of the new opera stars — beautiful and trim and, in December, she’ll be marrying Gus Christie, the Englishman who runs the prestigious Glyndebourne Opera Festival.

This is a big week in New York for opera buffs. The late great Beverly Sills’ collection of gowns, paintings, opera scores, jewelry and everything else she garnered in a lifetime is on sale at the Doyle Galleries. Bidding will be especially hot for a helmet that the Wagner Society is bent on nabbing for its own.