The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, July 6, 2022

New musical about 19th-century New York plans Broadway run
In a photo provifded by Alessandra Mello, “Paradise Square” at Berkeley Repertory Theater in 2019, with a cast featuring, in the front row from left, Hailee Kaleem Wright, Karen Burthwright and Sidney DuPont. “Paradise Square,” a new musical that explores race relations in 19th-century New York, plans to open on Broadway next winter, making it the first previously unscheduled musical to step forward since the pandemic began. Alessandra Mello/Berkeley Repertory Theatre via The New York Times.

by Michael Paulson

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- “Paradise Square,” a new musical that explores race relations in 19th-century New York, plans to open on Broadway next winter, making it the first previously unscheduled musical to step forward since the pandemic began.

The show, which has been reworked and in development for a decade, is about a long-gone slum in Lower Manhattan, Five Points, where, during the runup to the Civil War, free Black residents and Irish immigrants coexisted until the draft riots of 1863.

Not only about the history of New York City, the musical is also about the history of music and dance. It features songs by Stephen Foster, a prominent 19th-century U.S. songwriter who spent time toward the end of his life in Five Points, and it credits the Five Points community with a role in the origins of tap dance. (Tap is a U.S. dance form that is generally understood to have roots in the British Isles and Africa; it has a complex and murky history, but the dancing cellars of the Five Points were an important site of development for the form.)

“Paradise Square” is a comeback bid by a storied Canadian producer, Garth Drabinsky, who won three Tony Awards in the 1990s but then was convicted of fraud. He served time in a Canadian prison; charges in the United States were later dismissed.

The musical is to star Joaquina Kalukango, a Tony nominee for “Slave Play,” as the proprietor of the saloon in which much of the action takes place. Other cast members include Chilina Kennedy (“Beautiful”), John Dossett (a Tony nominee for “Gypsy”), Sidney DuPont (“Beautiful”), A.J. Shively (“Bright Star”), Nathaniel Stampley (“The Color Purple”), Gabrielle McClinton (“Pippin”), Jacob Fishel (“Fiddler on the Roof”) and Kevin Dennis.

The Broadway run is scheduled to begin previews Feb. 22 and to open March 20 at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Before the pandemic, the plan was to capitalize the musical for up to $13.5 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission; a spokesman said the actual capitalization will probably be somewhat less.

The show has a complex production history and an evolving creative team, led by the director Moisés Kaufman (best known as the creator of “The Laramie Project”) and the choreographer Bill T. Jones (a two-time Tony winner, for “Fela!” and “Spring Awakening”). It is based on a musical called “Hard Times,” which was conceived by Larry Kirwan, the lead singer of Black 47, and staged at the Cell Theater in 2012. Then, as “Paradise Square,” it had a production at Berkeley Repertory Theater in 2019, and this fall, before transferring to Broadway, it is scheduled to have a five-week run at the James M. Nederlander Theater in Chicago.

The book is now credited to four writers: Kirwan and three playwrights, Christina Anderson, Marcus Gardley and Craig Lucas. The score, which includes original songs as well as some attributed to Foster, now has three writers: Jason Howland, Nathan Tysen and Masi Asare.

Kaufman said the interruption of the pandemic provided the creative team “an opportunity to think.”

“At Berkeley, we learned that our story is epic, but we needed to continue focusing on our individual characters,” he said. “And that’s the work that’s occurred.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

June 9, 2021

A collector's rare treasures set records at Sotheby's

Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels achieves $26,559,250

American Impressionist paintings on view at the Palmer Museum this summer

Koller announces highlights included in the Modern, Contemporary & Swiss Art auctions

Rijksmuseum presents Ellsworth Kelly in the Rijksmuseum Gardens

Stedelijk Museum opens the most comprehensive overview of Bruce Nauman's work in the Netherlands to date

Kunsthaus Hamburg opens Carlos León Zambrano's first institutional solo exhibition

New consultancy firm established by two former art museum directors

"Reflections" a show by Nazli Madkour

Magnificent portrait of the King of Swaziland for sale in Paris

Delaware Art Museum's new board slate epitomizes its vision for the future

Kunstnernes Hus opens one of Ida Ekblad's largest exhibitions in Scandinavia to date

New musical about 19th-century New York plans Broadway run

She-Bam Pow Pop Wizz! The Amazons of Pop celebrates MAMAC's 30th anniversary

Stunning arms & armour to be offered by Thomas Del Mar

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers announces an online-only Estate Fine Art & Antique auction

Matadero Madrid presents the project Contra la Raza [Against Race]

Tel Aviv Museum of Art receives $15M supporting comprehensive upgrade of main building

Fabio Torre's second solo show in the United States opens at ClampArt

Almine Rech now represents American artist Haley Josephs

Marianne Boesky Gallery now representing Danielle Mckinney

Rare Posters Auction #84 presents 500 rare and iconic works

Martin Creed neon sculpture installed on Parrish Art Museum's facade

Art Rotterdam 2021: A European first. First international art fair to take place again

After Divorce You and Your Former Spouse are No Longer a Couple

Saving on the Cost of Professional Video - Without Compromising Your Brand

6 Tips And Tricks For A Hassle-Free Photoshoot

Difference Between Reverse Osmosis and Distilled Water

Fire Watch Guard Services For Hot Work

A beginner's guide to painting miniatures

Seven Ways To Stay Inspired & Motivated As An Artist

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful