Tony winner Linda Lavin, starring in a new production of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse, will play her last performance in that production June 13. The engagement began May 11, opening May 19. Samantha Mathis is her co-star. Gilbert Cates directs.
The play marks Lavin's L.A. stage debut. Her New York credits are, of course, notable and numerous. She last appeared on Broadway in The Diary of Anne Frank, receiving a Tony nomination for her performance as Mrs. Van Daan. She won the Tony for Broadway Bound, the Neil Simon comedy. Other credits include A Family Affair, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, Cop Out, Little Murders and Last of the Red Hot Lovers.
Off-Broadway she won an Obie Award for her performance in Death Defying Acts.
Mathis' many film credits include "Broken Arrow," "The American President," "How to Make an American Quilt," "Little Women" and "Pump Up the Volume." On stage, she appeared Off-Broadway in Lee Blessing's Fortinbras, an early production at the Signature Theatre Company.
Mathis will play a budding writer who becomes the protégé, then peer, then betrayer of her literary idol, the bohemian short story writer Ruth Steiner (Lavin). Collected Stories was first produced in New York at Manhattan Theatre Club, in a production that starred Maria Tucci. A second, completely different staging starring Uta Hagen, opened in 1998 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The Geffen Playhouse recently played host to a new mounting of Hedda Gabler, starring Annette Bening.
The Geffen Playhouse is located at 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Westwood. For ticket information call (310) 208-5454 or Ticketmaster at (213) 365-3500.
--By Robert Simonson