PARADISE SQUARE Will Close on Broadway


Joaquina Kalukango, Chilina Kennedy, and the cast of Paradise Square | Photo: Kevin Berne

Dan Meyer
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July 11, 2022 10:18 AM

The Broadway premiere of Paradise Square is closing up shop soon unless things turn around quickly. Just a few weeks after Joaquina Kalukango won the Leading Actress in a Musical Tony Award, the show will play its final performance at the Barrymore Theatre July 17.

The show follows the various communities—and how their lives intersected—that resided together in NYC’s Five Points neighborhoods during the latter half of the 19th century.

Starring are Kalukango, Chilina Kennedy, John Dossett, Sidney DuPont, A.J. Shively, Nathaniel Stampley, Gabrielle McClinton, Jacob Fishel, Kevin Dennis, and Matt Bogart, along with a large ensemble of over 25 performers. Moisés Kaufman directs.

Paradise Square opened April 3 at the Barrymore, following out-of-town tryouts at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California and Chicago’s James N. Nederlander Theatre. At the time of closing, the production will have played 23 previews and 108 performances.

“I am enormously proud of the work of our prodigiously talented cast who are committed to the story they tell at every performance, and our extraordinary creative team who collaborated brilliantly to bring the world of Paradise Square to life,” commented producer Garth H. Drabinsky. “We wanted to give [it] every chance to succeed, but various challenges proved insurmountable. We endured two COVID shutdowns, including 13 days right after our opening night, which resulted in a crucial loss of marketing momentum. The show, produced after the start of the pandemic, was not eligible for SVOG funds and was without the benefit of indemnity as insurers would no longer cover new productions for losses due to COVID.”

A post-Tony Awards box office bump never came for the musical, adds Drabinsky. Paradise Square was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Choreography, and Original Score, but Kalukango won the show’s sole award that evening.

Paradise Square has a book by Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas, and Larry Kirwan, with music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Masi Asare, and additional music by Kirwan, inspired by the songs of Stephen Foster. The show also has musical supervision, music direction, and orchestrations by Howland, with arrangements by Howland and Kirwan.

The production features choreography by Bill T. Jones, scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Jon Weston, and projection design by Wendall K. Harrington and Shawn Boyle. Thulani Davis and Sydné Mahone serve as dramaturgs.

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Dan Meyer

Dan joins Theatrely after previously serving as an Assistant Editor at Playbill. His favorite musicals are fast, historical, and witty, like Six, Cabaret, and Sweeney Todd. He likes his plays dark and funny.

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