Keen Company Schedules Outward Bound, Postpones Oppenheimer

News   Keen Company Schedules Outward Bound, Postpones Oppenheimer Off-Broadway's Keen Company has postponed its scheduled production of In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer in favor of a new production of the 1923 Sutton Vane play Outward Bound.

The play, which will open April 12 and close on May 8, will be directed by Robert Kalfin, and feature Joe Delafield, Drew Eliot, Laura Esterman, Wilbur Edwin Henry, Susan Pellegrino, Michael Pemberton, and Clayton Dean Smith. It is produced in association with Joseph Harrow.

Keen Company artistic director Carl Forsman said in a prepared statement, "We had a perfect window of opportunity to do this play with Jospeh Harrow for the spring. This gives Keen Company time to assemble a 'dream team' of actors for our revival of In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer."

The story tells of a group of people aboard a ship embarked for an unknown destination. The strange passage leads the characters to reflect upon the lives they've lived. British Vane was in his mid-20s when he wrote Outward Bound. No one would produce it, so he constructed a homemade set in a suburban London house and ran the play for two weeks. It became a hit and transferred to the West End and, in 1924, to Broadway. The play was Vane's biggest success.

Leslie Hunt and Alfred Lunt appeared in the original Broadway production, which ran 144 performances. The 1939 revival, starring Laurette Taylor, did better, lasting 255 performances. The play was revived at Westport Country Playhouse in 2002. Doug Hughes directed a cast composed of Pamela Payton-Wright, Edward Hibbert, Patricia Connolly, T. Scott Cunningham, Garret Dillahunt, Danis Holmes, Jefferson Mays, Tari Signor and Henry Strozier.

The Keen play will be performed at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues). Tickets are $19 and are available by calling SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.