Barring a dramatic upturn in business, the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Paradise Square will conclude its run with the 3:00 pm matinee on Sunday, July 17 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street). At the time of closing, the production will have played 23 previews and 108 performances.
Between Broadway and earlier engagements at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA. in 2019, and at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago in 2021, Paradise Square will have played over 200 performances to multiple standing ovations at each show. A national tour is being planned for the 2023-2024 season, and international productions are also in development. The Original Broadway Cast Recording is expected to be released in September.
“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. “I am also thankful for the show’s devoted fans, and the numerous influential voices who have enthusiastically supported us at the theatre and on social media, including Oprah Winfrey, Ben Vereen, Gloria Steinem, Cynthia Erivo, Phylicia Rashad and Danielle Brooks, among many others.”
“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 have not 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.”
Tickets are available at Telecharge.com.
Paradise Square was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, with star Joaquina Kalukango receiving the Tony for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. The production also won two Drama Desk Awards (out of four nominations) for Outstanding Actress in a Musical – Joaquina Kalukango and Outstanding Choreography – Bill T. Jones, Garrett Coleman, Jason Oremus, Gelan Lambert, Chloe Davis; an Outer Critics Circle Award (out of seven nominations, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical) for Outstanding Orchestrations – Jason Howland; and a Chita Rivera Award (out of four nominations) for Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show – Bill T. Jones, Garrett Coleman, and Jason Oremus. The show was also nominated for seven Antonyo Awards, including Best Musical, with the awards to be presented in October.
Joaquina Kalukango leads a cast that also stars Chilina Kennedy, John Dossett, Sidney DuPont, A.J. Shively, Nathaniel Stampley, Gabrielle McClinton, Jacob Fishel, Kevin Dennis and Matt Bogart.
Paradise Square has a book by Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan, music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Masi Asare, with additional music by Larry Kirwan, inspired in part by the songs of Stephen Foster.
Direction is by Moisés Kaufman. Choreography is by Bill T. Jones. Musical staging is by Alex Sanchez. Irish and Hammerstep choreography is by Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus.
Paradise Square is produced by three-time Tony Award winner Garth H. Drabinsky. Mr. Drabinsky’s longtime colleague, documentary filmmaker Peter LeDonne is co-producing.
The creative team features scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Jon Weston, projection design by Wendall K. Harrington and Shawn Edward Boyle, hair and wig design by Matthew Armentrout and special effects by Gregory Meeh. Dramaturgy is by Thulani Davis and Sydné Mahone.