Paradise Square Announces Broadway Closing
The Moisés Kaufman-directed musical made its Broadway debut in April at the Ethel Barrymore Theater.
Broadway’s Paradise Square will close July 17. Currently running at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, the production will have played 23 previews and 108 performances when its curtain rings down for the final time.
The original musical, which opened on April 3, is directed by Moisés Kaufman, with choreography by Tony winner Bill T. Jones. It takes place during the Civil War and tells the rich story of Irish immigrants and Black Americans fighting for a similar cause. Read reviews for the work here.
The show’s large ensemble cast is led by Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play), Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Tony nominee John Dossett (Gypsy), Matt Bogart (Smokey Joe’s Café), Kevin Dennis (Assassins), Nathaniel Stampley (Porgy & Bess), AJ Shively (Bright Star), Sidney DuPont (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Gabrielle McClinton (Pippin), and Jacob Fishel (Fiddler on the Roof).
Kalukango won a 2022 Tony Award for her performance in the show. Listen to her singing the character’s climactic “Let It Burn” from the upcoming original cast album here.
Producer Garth H. Drabinsky cited COVID-related financial difficulties for the production’s brief run in a statement. “We wanted to give Paradise Square 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. Even with significant award recognition and the sensational performance delivered by Joaquina Kalukango and our cast on the Tony Awards broadcast, we only saw a modest bump at the box office.
“For these many months, we have watched audience reaction and have read on social media how much Paradise Square has touched them, but we just haven’t caught on with the general ticket buying public as we had hoped and expected. I thank our investors and co-producers who stood by the show during one of the most difficult times for Broadway in decades. I fervently hope audiences will take the opportunity to see and support Paradise Square in its final performances on Broadway.”
The show is already planning a national tour for the 2023-2024 season, along with international productions. The original Broadway cast album is expected to be released in September.
Paradise Square was conceived by Black 47 frontman Larry Kirwan. Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas, and Kirwan penned the musical’s book to a score with music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Masi Asare, and additional music by Kirwan.
The production also has staging by Alex Sanchez; music supervision, direction, and orchestrations by Howland; scenic design by Allen Moyer; costume design by Toni-Leslie James; lighting design by Donald Holder; sound design by John Weston; and projection design by Wendall K. Harrington.