Travel back in time to 1863, as Black and Irish immigrant communities were trying to define what it meant to be American, exemplified in this glimpse of the Broadway-aimed musical Paradise Square above.
Set in Manhattan’s Five Points neighborhood during the Civil War, the musical follows the denizens of a local saloon, including the Black woman who owns it, a conflicted newly arrived Irish immigrant, a runaway slave, and a once-great songwriter.
The world premiere of Paradise Square played Berkeley Repertory Theatre in December 2018. Conceived by Larry Kirwan, the musical features a score based on the songs of Stephen Foster with music by Jason Howland and Kirwan, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, and a book by Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas, and Kirwan.
The Berkeley production was directed by Moisés Kaufman and featured choreography by Bill T. Jones. Serving as producers were Garth H. Drabinsky in association with Peter LeDonne and Teatro Proscenium Limited Partnership. Details of a future life for the musical will be announced shortly.
Rounding out the creative team at Berkeley were scenic designer Allen Moyer, costume designer Toni-Leslie James, lighting designer Donald Holder, sound designer Jon Weston, and hair and wig designer Matthew B. Armentrout, with Irish and Hammerstep choreography by Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus, dramaturgy by Sydne Mahone and Thulani Davis, and casting by Stewart/Whitley.