Broadway “Paradise Square” Opening Announced – Deadline

Paradise Square, the original musical from a creative team that includes Moisés Kaufman, Bill T. Jones, Craig Lucas and Black 47 frontman Larry Kirwan, will debut Broadway premieres at The Shubert Organization’s Barrymore Theater on February 22, 2022, with an opening night scheduled for Sunday, March 20.

Producer Garth H. Drabinsky announced the dates today, as well as the new cast of Joaquina Kalukango, currently Tony nominated for her performance in slave game.

As previously reported, the production will arrive on Broadway directly after a five-week engagement in Chicago.

The musical’s creative team includes director Moisés Kaufman and choreographer Bill T. Jones, with a book by Christina Anderson, Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan. Graciela Daniele will provide the musical direction, in collaboration with Kaufman and Jones.

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The note of Paradise Square is by Jason Howland and Nathan Tysen, with additional material provided by Masi Asare and Kirwan. The musical features original songs as well as re-imaginations of Stephen Foster songs.

Joaquina Kalukango
Courtesy production

Located in the Five Points district of New York in 1863, Paradise Square chronic on loud dance competitions between the Irish and black communities of the region, and a the racial balance that came to an abrupt end with the deadly NY Draft riots.

The musical will mark the return to Broadway of once ubiquitous Canadian theater producer Drabinsky, whose legal and financial woes resulted in a prison sentence in Canada. During his heyday in the 1990s, Drabinsky produced Broadway hits like Spider Woman Kiss, Show Boat, Ragtime and Pit.

Drabinsky teams up on Paradise Square with his longtime colleague Peter LeDonne, who is co-producing.

Kalukango, best known for her role as Kaneisha in Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave game, also appeared on Broadway in The color purple, Holler if you can hear me and Gods. His film and television credits include that of Amazon One night in Miami, HBO Lovecraft Country and the Netflix series When they see us.

Paradise Square will also star Chilina Kennedy, John Dossett, Sidney DuPont, AJ Shively, Nathaniel Stampley, Gabrielle McClinton, Jacob Fishel and Kevin Dennis.

The creative team includes stage design by Allen Moyer, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Donald Holder, and sound design by Jon Weston.

The world premiere of Paradise Square was produced in January 2019 by the Berkeley Repertory Theater. The musical is based on Hard times, originally designed by Kirwan, which was originally presented Off Broadway in 2012.

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