Harold Prince to Direct New Musical 'The Band's Visit'

Harold Prince - H 2015
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Harold Prince - H 2015

The show will be part of the Atlantic Theater Company's 30th anniversary season, along with the NY premiere of 'These Paper Bullets!' featuring music by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong.

Legendary theater director and producer Harold Prince will stage the world premiere of the new musical The Band's Visit as part of the 30th anniversary season at off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company.

Based on Eran Kolirin's critically lauded 2007 Israeli film of the same name, the show has a book by Itamar Moses (Fortress of Solitude) and music and lyrics by David Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). It will bow at the Atlantic in spring 2016.

The musical tells the story of an Egyptian police force band that arrives in Israel to play at the inauguration of an Arab arts center. After a mix-up at the border, they take a wrong turn and get stuck overnight in a remote desert town, where their presence has an unexpected effect on the locals, and vice versa.

The recipient of a record 21 Tony Awards, Prince, 87, has one of the most celebrated careers of any living theatermaker. He was behind the original productions of shows ranging from Cabaret to Sweeney Todd, from Evita to The Phantom of the Opera. His last production to premiere in New York was LoveMusik, which played on Broadway in 2007. Prince has not opened a show off-Broadway since 1994.

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Also on the Atlantic's 2015-16 season slate is the New York premiere of Rolin Jones' These Paper Bullets!, a mod backbeat update of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing that was first seen last year at Yale Repertory Theatre. Directed by Jackson Gay and featuring original songs by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, the musical will arrive at the Atlantic in November or December this year, following a Sept. 8-Oct. 18 run at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Jones burst onto the scene with his Pulitzer-shortlisted play The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, produced at the Atlantic in 2005. Since then he has been working primarily in television, with writing stints on Friday Night Lights, Weeds and Boardwalk Empire. More recently, he wrote the screen adaptation for Universal Pictures of the Green Day musical, American Idiot.

Opening the Atlantic's new season in the fall, Brit director James Macdonald will continue his long association with iconoclastic playwright Caryl Churchill with a revival of Cloud Nine, her landmark 1979 play about politics, power and sex, set in colonial Africa and late-'70s London. The caustic masterwork has not been seen in a major New York staging since its hit 1981 debut.

On the season lineup at the Atlantic Stage 2 venue for new works is Skeleton Crew, the final part of Dominique Morisseau's Detroit trilogy, world-premiering in January 2016; and the New York premiere in May-June next year of The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois, written and directed by Adam Rapp.