A new musical called “Paradise Square” is set to make its Broadway debut in Chicago for a Pre-Broadway run November 2 – December 5.
The play tells a riveting story of a Black and Irish community in New York City that finds racial harmony in one of America’s most notorious slums. It’s then torn apart by a country at war with itself.
In 1863, during the height of the Civil War, New York City was changing. Free Blacks and those who escaped slavery, arriving through the Underground Railroad, found themselves living in the crumbling tenement houses of the Five Points. The notorious 19th-century Lower Manhattan slum was home to the lowest rung of America’s social status, which included Irish immigrants escaping the devastation of the Great Famine. For many years, Black Americans and Irish Immigrants co-existed, intermarried, raised families and shared their cultures. The two poor communities coexisted under the common thread of poverty. Until it came to a tragic end when President Abraham Lincoln instituted the first Federal Draft to support the Union Army.
Produced by Garth H. Drabinsky, “Paradise Square” is centered on a local saloon, the Black woman who owns it, as well as her family, both Black and Irish. Weaved into each of their stories are conflicting notions of what it means to be an American while living through one of the most tumultuous eras in our country’s history.
The musical also features direction by two-time Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones.
Its talented cast includes Joaquina Kalukango from Netflix’s “One Night in Miami,” John Dossett, Sidney DuPont and many others.
The group performed an exclusive song from the show called “I’d Be a Soldier,” written by Jason Howland (music) with lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Masi Asare.
“Paradise Square” will run Pre-Broadway in Chicago, November 2 – December 5, 2021. Broadway previews will begin Feb. 22, 2022, and tickets will be on sale through November 27, 2022, at the Barrymore Theatre in New York City.
For more information about “Paradise Square,” visit Paradisesquaremusical.com.