Wasserstein's Third, with Christine Lahti, Opens in L.A. Sept. 19

News   Wasserstein's Third, with Christine Lahti, Opens in L.A. Sept. 19 Wendy Wasserstein's final work, Third, opens at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse Sept. 19. Christine Lahti stars with fellow television actors Jayne Brook, Matt Czuchry, Sarah Drew and M. Emmet Walsh.
Matt Czuchry stars in Third at the Geffen Playhouse.
Matt Czuchry stars in Third at the Geffen Playhouse. Photo by Michael Lamont

Maria Mileaf directs the West Coast debut, which began previews Sept. 11 for a run at the California stage through Oct. 28.

"Set in the uncertain months surrounding America's launch of the second Gulf War in Iraq," as show notes reveal, Third "follows a professor (Lahti) at a prestigious New England university who is convinced her third generation, jock student has plagiarized a brilliant paper." The work debuted at Lincoln Center Theater in 2005.

Lahti is no stranger to the work of Wasserstein; she played the title role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Heidi Chronicles on Broadway and starred in the Lifetime Channel's version of "An American Daughter."

She is joined in the cast by Jayne Brook (King Lear, "Boston Legal") as Nancy, Matt Czuchry ("Gilmore Girls," "Veronica Mars") as Woodson Bull III (aka Third), Sarah Drew (Vincent in Brixton, "Everwood") as Emily and M. Emmet Walsh (That Championship Season, "Blade Runner") as Jack.

The design team includes Vince Mountain (scenic), Alex Jaeger (costumes) and David Lander (lighting). Michael Roth is composer. Dana Anderson serves as production stage manager. Known for her Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning turns in "Chicago Hope" as well as her recent work on "Jack & Bobby" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," Lahti appeared in the films "...And Justice For All," "Running on Empty" and "Swing Shift" and earned an Academy Award for directing the live-action short "Lieberman in Love."

Other stage credits include Broadway's Present Laughter, Scenes and Revelations, Division Street and Loose Ends and Off-Broadway's Three Hotels, Little Murders, Landscape of the Body, The Country Girl, The Woods and Hooters. She has also appeared in regional runs of Three Hotels, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Summer and Smoke, Love Letters, Moon for the Misbegotten and The Lucky Spot.

The Geffen Playhouse 2007-2008 season continues with Quality of Life starring Laurie Metcalf (Oct. 2-Nov. 18), Atlanta (Nov. 20-Dec. 30), The Female of the Species starring Annette Bening (Feb. 5-March 16, 2008), Emergence-See! (April 15-May 25, 2008), The Elephant in the Room (June 17-July 27, 2008) and one production yet to be announced.

Tickets to Third, at Geffen, 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Los Angeles, CA, are available by calling (310) 208-5454. For more information visit GeffenPlayhouse.com.

Jayne Brook and Christine Lahti in the Geffen's production of Wendy Wasserstein's <i>Third</i>.
Jayne Brook and Christine Lahti in the Geffen's production of Wendy Wasserstein's Third. Photo by Michael Lamont