The Keen Company, Off-Broadway's newest contender, is launching its first production, Conor McPherson's The Good Thief, with an attention-getting benefit Jan. 29. "Keen on Auburn" features three short plays from hot new playwright David Auburn (Proof).
Auburn and Proof's Johanna Day host the evening in the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe. The author's short works on display include Miss Me, two couples's enmeshed in call-waiting hell; Are You Ready?, a love triangle between man, woman and maitre d'; What Do You Believe About the Future?, an argument between friends about the future and a world premiere piece written just for the Keen Company.
The readings will feature Day, Ben Shenkman (Proof), Brennan Brown, Adam Dannheiser (Twelfth Night), Seana Kofoed (Night Must Fall), Orland Pabotoy (The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told) and Ana Reeder (An Experiment With an Air Pump).
The Keen Company's The Good Thief, set to run March 7-24 at the Jose Quintero Theatre, will star Brian d'Arcy James as the small-time enforcer for a Dublin gangster who confesses his sins after a crime spree involving murder, kidnapping and imprisonment goes horribly wrong. The one man piece is along the lines of The Weir author's St. Nicholas.
James is more known for his musical pipes than his acting ones - he's created roles in the Broadway musical Titanic, as well as The Wild Party and Floyd Collins. His play work has included Kenneth Branagh's Public Enemy, Velvet Visc with Janeane Garofalo and Ancestral Voices. For $75 tickets to the Auburn benefit, call (212) 560-7284. The Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe is located at 329 West 42nd Street.