Cast members of the new Broadway musical Paradise Square recently assembled to celebrate the production’s new front of house display at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Following the show’s world premiere in Chicago, Paradise Square begins previews at Broadway's Barrymore March 15 with an opening set for April 3.
Set in Manhattan’s Five Points neighborhood amid the Civil War and the New York draft riots, 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, a political boss, and a once-great songwriter.
Featuring Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play) as saloon proprietor Nelly Freeman, the principal cast also includes Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), John Dossett (Gypsy), Sidney DuPont (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), A.J. Shively (Bright Star), Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys), Nathaniel Stampley (The Color Purple), Gabrielle McClinton (Pippin), Jacob Fishel (Fiddler on the Roof), and Kevin Dennis (Young Frankenstein in Canada).
Rounding out the ensemble are Karen Burthwright, Kennedy Caughell, Dwayne Clark, Garrett Coleman, Colin Cunliffe, Chloe Davis, Josh Davis, Bernard Dotson, Jamal Christopher Douglas, Sam Edgerly, Shiloh Goodin, Sean Jenness, Joshua Keith, Jay McKenzie, Ben Michael, Jason Oremus, Kayla Pecchioni, Eilis Quinn, Lee Siegel, Erica Spyres, Lael Van Keuren, Sir Brock Warren, and Hailee Kaleem Wright with Colin Barkell, Eric Craig, Camille Eanga-Selenge, Alan Wiggins, and Kristen Beth Williams as swings.
Conceived by Larry Kirwan, Paradise Square features a score by Jason Howland, Nathan Tysen, and Masi Asare with additional material provided by Kirwan. The musical features original songs as well as a reimagining of the songs of Stephen Foster. Christina Anderson, Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas, and Kirwan wrote the book.
Paradise Square is executive-produced by Garth Drabinsky. Moisés Kaufman (I Am My Own Wife, The Laramie Project) directs with choreography by two-time Tony winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening, Fela!).
The production has scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Donald Holder, and sound design by Jon Weston. Dramaturgy is by Thulani Davis and Sydné Mahone, and projection design is by Wendall K. Harrington.
The musical premiered at Berkeley Rep in 2019, and played a pre-Broadway tryout at Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre last year.