Keen Company to Honor Sutton Foster at Annual Benefit; James to Host and Larsen Will Perform

News   Keen Company to Honor Sutton Foster at Annual Benefit; James to Host and Larsen Will Perform Recent Next to Normal star Brian d'Arcy James, who will play the title role in the upcoming Shrek The Musical, will host the eighth annual benefit for the Keen Company.
Sutton Foster
Sutton Foster Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Entitled The Understudy Evening, the benefit will be held April 27 at Theatre Row on West 42nd Street. The fundraiser will feature the talents of some of New York's up-n-coming performers, including Anika Larsen (Xanadu), Renee Feder (Young Frankenstein), Kelly McCreary (Passing Strange) and Katie Adams (Wicked). Brian Cimmet will accompany the performers on piano.

The evening will also include the inaugural presentation of the Chrysalis Award. The award, according to press notes, "recognizes a star and a producer who emerged, unexpectedly, like Keen Company." The recipients include Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, currently on Broadway in Young Frankenstein, and Theatre Row General Manager Erika Feldman.

Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer will present Foster with her award, while Keen Company artistic director Carl Forsman will make the presentation to Feldman.

The Understudy Evening is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by the performances and a live auction at 8 PM.

Sutton Foster received a Tony nomination for her work in the hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone at the Marquis Theatre. The singing actress starred in the title role of Thoroughly Modern Millie and received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire awards for that performance. She also received a Tony nomination for her performance in Little Women, and her other Broadway credits include roles in Les Misérables, Annie, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Grease!. Foster's regional and tour credits include What the World Needs Now, Dorian, Three Musketeers, South Pacific and The Will Rogers Follies. Foster currently plays Inga in the new Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein at the Hilton Theatre and will soon be seen as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical. Tickets, priced $250, are available by calling (212) 216-0963 or by visiting www.keencompany.org.

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Founded in 2000, the Keen Company has produced 20 plays and has been honored with five Drama Desk nominations, two transfers, an Obie and a 2005 Special Drama Desk Award for "moving and enlightening audiences with plays that build upon our theatrical heritage."

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