Atlantic presents Lonergan's Hold On To Me Darling

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Atlantic Theater Company has announced the final addition to its upcoming 30th Anniversary 2015-2016 off-Broadway season. The world premiere of Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize finalist Kenneth Lonergan's Hold On To Me Darling, directed by Atlantic Artistic Director Neil Pepe, will begin previews at the Linda Gross Theater on 24 February 2016, before an official opening on 14 March, and a limited run through to 3 April 2016.

Synopsis: "On learning of his mother's death, world famous country and western star Strings McCrane begins questioning the meaning of his life and what it all adds up to. Determined to abandon his celebrity and career, he moves back to his hometown in Tennessee. It doesn't go well. This new play examines the costs of fame, fortune and narcissism in pursuit of the American Dream."

Casting and further creative team members will be announced at a later date.

The complete 30th Anniversary Season schedule follows:


Atlantic kicks off the season with a revival of Caryl Churchill's comic-drama Cloud Nine, directed by James Macdonald, which begins previews on 16 September 2015, before an official opening on 5 October, and a limited run through to 1 November 2015.

Synopsis: "Set in colonial Africa and 1979 London, Caryl Churchill's landmark play is about power, politics, family, Queen Victoria and sex. This timeless and bitingly funny modern classic has not been seen in a major New York production since 1981, when it ran for over two years."

Following this, will be the New York premiere of of the Yale Repertory Theatre production of Those Paper Bullets!, written by Rolin Jones and featuring songs by Green Day Frontman and 'American Idiot' star Billie Joe Armstrong. This co-production with the Geffen Playhouse will be directed by Jackson Gay and play from November to December 2015.

Synopsis: "Meet the Quartos: Ben, Claude, Balth, and Pedro. Their fans worship them. Scotland Yard fears them. And their former drummer will stop at nothing to destroy them. Can these fab four from Liverpool find true love in London and cut an album in seven nights? Those Paper Bullets! is a modish rip-off of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing with a serious backbeat."

This will be followed by the newly announced world premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's drama Hold On To Me Darling.

Finally, Atlantic will stage the world premiere of new musical The Band's Visit, featuring a book by Itamar Moses and music & lyrics by David Yazbek, based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin. Hal Prince is set to direct the premiere, which will begin performances in Spring 2016.

Synopsis: "An Egyptian Police Band arrives in Israel to play a concert. After a mix up at the border, they are sent to a remote village in the middle of the desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, these unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways."


Kicking off the 30th Anniversary season here will be a world premiere production of Skeleton Crew, written by Dominique Morisseau, which will begin performances in January 2016.

Synopsis: "In this final installment of Dominique Morisseau's Detroit trilogy, a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city navigate the possibility of foreclosure. Power dynamics shift, and they are pushed to the limits of survival. When the line between blue collar and white collar gets blurred, how far over the lines are they willing to step?"

Finally, Atlantic will stage the New York premiere of The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois, written and directed by Adam Rapp, which will run from May to June 2016.

Synopsis: "Ellis Shook lives alone in a small duplex apartment in Paducah, Kentucky. He works nights buffing floors, keeps to himself - and always remembers to take his medication. But when two teenage girls arrive at his doorstep one autumn afternoon, their visit will force him to confront a tragic past while also offering him a glimpse at hope."

That concludes the line-up to the Atlantic Theater Company's 30th Anniversary Season.

- by Tom Millward

Kenneth Lonergan

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