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Billie Joe Armstrong, Harold Prince Bring New Musicals to Off Broadway’s Atlantic Theater

Rocker Billie Joe Armstrong and Broadway royalty Harold Prince each have a place in the 2015-16 season at Off Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company, with new musicals from each landing at the New York company co-founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy.

The latest stage work from Green Day frontman Armstrong, “These Paper Bullets!,” comes to the Atlantic (in a co-production with L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse) after a 2014 premiere at Yale Rep in New Haven, Conn. A mod update on “Much Ado About Nothing” with songs by Armstrong and book by Rolin Jones (“Friday Night Lights,” “Weeds”), “Paper Bullets” follows four Liverpudlian rock stars trying to record an album in seven nights. Directed by Jackson Gay, the show’s on tap for a run at the Atlantic in the November-December 2015 slot, with exact dates to be determined.

Veteran Broadway producer-director Prince (“The Phantom of the Opera”) will stage the world premiere of “The Band’s Visit,” a new musical based on Eran Kolirin’s 2007 film with music and lyrics by David Yazbek (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “The Full Monty”) and book by Itamar Moses (“Boardwalk Empire”). The show centers on the members of an Egyptian Police Band who, stranded in the desert in Israel, form unlikely bonds with the locals there. The show will bow in spring 2016.

Also on board the Atlantic’s upcoming slate are the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s “Skeleton Crew,” about the workers in the last exporting auto plant in Detroit, as well as the New York bow of “The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois, ” Adam Rapp’s drama about a Kentucky loner’s encounter with two teen girls. Both productions will play the Atlantic’s smaller venue, Atlantic Stage 2.

The season opens with a revival of Caryl Churchill’s “Cloud Nine,” to be directed by James Macdonald (“A Number,” Manhattan Theater Club’s “Top Girls”). One title remains to be set.


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