kristen_johnstonActress Kristen Johnston, best known for her comedy role in the hit TV sitcom ‘Third Rock from the Sun,” will take the lead  in the Mint Theatre Company production of  So Help Me God!,  which previews Off-Broadway  starting today (Nov. 18).

Johnston (The Women) stars as Lily,  a demanding lead actress and struggling stage diva, who is determined to remain in the spotlight. Anna Chlumsky (“My Girl,” Fabulous Life of a Size Zero) is her ambitious, yet naïve understudy, who is just as determined to replace her.

The late writer Maurine Dallas Watkins wrote  Chicago (the basis for the Kander and Ebb musical), as well as the screenplays “Libeled Lady” and “Roxie Hart.”

So Help Me God was sidelined by the stock market crash— of 1929, that is –and forgotten. It was recently re-discovered in the attic of a Watkins descendant.

Watkins’, Chicago, ran for 172 performances on Broadway (and later became the source for the Kander and Ebb musical). Her impressive debut on the Great White Way was all the inspiration she needed for So Help Me God!’s spot-on stage caricatures, which remain shockingly recognizable today.

Mint artistic director Jonathan Bank stages the production which will open officially Dec. 7 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The limited run will continue through Dec. 20. Johnston headlined a reading of So Help Me God!last summer at the Lortel.

The play also features Brad Bellamy, Catherine Curtin, Amy Fitts, Jeremy Lawrence, Ned Noyes, Kevin O’Donnell, John G. Preston, Allen Lewis Rickman, Kraig Swartz, Peter Van Wagner, Matthew Waterson, Margot White and John Windsor-Cunningham.

Bill Clarke handles the scenic design, Clint Ramos, costume design, Robert Wierzel, lighting design and Jane Shaw, sound.

Tickets are available by phone (212) 279-4200 or through TicketCentral. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher St., in Manhattan.