BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y. — Kenneth Lonergan is the quintessential neurotic New Yorker with a cranky demeanor and a jaded outlook. Which is why he relishes the story about finding himself in the spotlight, in 1996, as the city’s hot playwright-of-the-moment. His breakthrough drama, “This Is Our Youth,” about a couple of disaffected, drug-addled young adults, had burst onto the scene to rave reviews. Suddenly Lonergan’s star was on the rise. But as he was waiting in line for the bathroom at intermission a week after the play’s opening, he overheard a middle-aged woman turn to her friend and remark, in a voice dripping with derision, “Well, it’s not my youth!”
Eyes twinkling, Lonergan, 50, chuckles at the recollection of getting smacked down out of his heady orbit by a couple of unimpressed, cynical New Yorkers after his own heart.