Off-Broadway's Keen is Keen for Patrick, Belluso and Kipphardt in 2004-05

News   Off-Broadway's Keen is Keen for Patrick, Belluso and Kipphardt in 2004-05 Plays by John Patrick, John Belluso and Heinar Kipphardt will be part of the 2004-05 line-up at Keen Company, which wrapped up its production of Thornton Wilder's one-acts Pullman Car Hiawatha and Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden on July 18 at the Connelly Theater.

The troupe, headed by artistic director Carl Forsman, will launch the season with The Hasty Heart, a lesser-known work by The Teahouse of the August Moon author John Patrick, beginning in October. The show takes a darkly comic look at "a group of soldiers in a Southeast Asian hospital in the waning days of World War II."

Hasty Heart premiered on Broadway in 1945. John Lund and Richard Basehart starred in the production, which lasted six months. A later film featured Ronald Reagan. Keith Nobbs (Stupid Kids, Fuddy Meers) will appear in the new production.

Next up will be Pyretown, "a contemporary love story about a young man in a wheelchair, a middle-aged single mom, and a pregnant doctor as they struggle to protect their dignity and maintain their humanity in the modern medical age." Forsman will direct the John Belluso work, which will debut in January 2005 at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

Filling the third slot is In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Heinar Kipphardt. The play was an early production of Lincoln Center, debuting in 1969, when the nonprofit was under the direction of Jules Irving. As the title indicates, it is a drama about the controversial man who invented the atomic bomb and was later branded a communist by the government. Said Keen materials, "This timely play, based on security review transcripts, explores issues of national security and the ethics of force." Forsman will again direct at Urban Stages, beginning in April 2005.

Joseph Wiseman played Oppenheimer in the original production, which was directed by Gordon Davidson. Philip Bosco, Herbert Berghof and Charles Cioffi also starred in the large, all-male cast.

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