Previews of the Civil War-era musical ‘Paradise Square’ begin soon. We hear from 2 leading cast members
A new musical hitting the Broadway stage takes the audience back in time to an explosive era in a New York City neighborhood. Previews of "Paradise Square" begin next week.
“Paradise Square" is in its final days of rehearsals, as the musical set during the Civil War takes up residence at Broadway's Barrymore Theatre.
"There's crazy dancing, there's politics, there's intense passion, love, there's violence, there's so many things,” says Joaquina Kalukango. "There's a song that fills the air when the Five Points comes to life."
Kalukango plays Nellie, the owner of Paradise Square saloon where the community comes together and is threatened to be torn apart by the war and the Civil War draft riots.
"Paradise Square” is set in the former New York neighborhood known as Five Points in Lower Manhattan. It was an impoverished area, but as the musical depicts, one in which Irish immigrants and Black residents, including freed slaves, lived side by side, blending cultures.
Chilina Kennedy plays Annie, an Irish woman taken in by Nellie, becoming family.
"It's a very exciting time in history and exciting place, and the audience gets to come into the theatre and see our version of this place and what it means to us as characters,” says Kennedy.
The audience can step into “Paradise Square” March 15 when previews begin.
“Paradise Square” was first performed last fall in Chicago. It's official Broadway opening will be April 3.