Susan Sarandon, Marin Ireland to Star in New Jesse Eisenberg Play

Susan Sarandon Marin Ireland Jesse Eisenberg - Getty - H Split 2019
Mike Coppola/Getty; Taylor Hill/FilmMagic; Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Scott Elliott will direct the world premiere of 'Happy Talk' for off-Broadway's The New Group, beginning performances on April 30.

Jesse Eisenberg's Happy Talk has locked in Susan Sarandon and Marin Ireland for lead roles. 

The new play, described as "hysterical and devastating," was previously titled Yea, Sister! It reveals the absurd lengths to which people will go to save themselves in the name of saving others.

Happy Talk will feature Sarandon as Lorraine, who deals with her dying mother, miserable husband and estranged daughter while playing the role of Bloody Mary in her local Jewish Community Center's production of South Pacific. Ireland will play her mother's home aide, Serbian immigrant Ljuba, who seeks Lorraine's help finding a husband. But the new role of matchmaker proves a challenging one for the saint of the suburbs.

Scott Elliott, artistic director of The New Group, will stage the production at the off-Broadway company's Signature Center home. Previews begin April 30 in advance of a May 16 official opening, with the limited engagement scheduled to run through June 2. Additional casting will be announced.

The project reunites The New Group and Elliott with Eisenberg after his 2015 play The Spoils, in which he also starred with Kunal Nayyar. Other plays by the actor produced in New York include 2013's The Revisionist, in which he shared the stage with Vanessa Redgrave, and 2011's Asuncion in which he starred with Justin Bartha.

Ireland is a frequent New York stage presence, most recently heading the cast of Blue Ridge at the Atlantic Theater Company. Sarandon's last New York stage appearance was in a 2009 Broadway revival of Exit the King in which she starred with Geoffrey Rush, Lauren Ambrose and Andrea Martin.

The New Group currently has Jeremy O. Harris' Daddy in previews, starring Alan Cumming, Ronald Peet and Charlayne Woodard. That production officially opens next Tuesday, March 5.