Complete casting and creative duties have been announced for the new musical Paradise Square, which begins its world-premiere engagement at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre December 27. Paradise Square is scheduled to run through February 17, 2019, with an opening night set for January 10.
Conceived by Irish musician Larry Kirwin, who is a co-writer on the show’s book and score, the writing team also includes playwrights Marcus Gardley (Every Tongue Confess) and Craig Lucas (The Light in the Piazza, Prelude to a Kiss), as well as Little Women composer Jason Howland. Moisés Kaufman (Torch Song) directs, and Bill T. Jones serves as choreographer. Garth Drabinsky produces the premiere in association with Peter LeDonne and Teatro Proscenium Limited Partnership.
The show will star Kennedy Caughell (Janey Foster); Kevin Dennis (Mike Quinlan); Sidney Dupont (William Henry Lance); Jacob Fishel (Stephen Foster/Milton Moore); Daren A. Herbert (Rev. Samuel E. Cornish); Gabrielle McClinton (Angelina Baker); Ben Michael (Daniel Fernando); Christina Sajous (Annabelle “Nelly” Freeman); A.J. Shively (Owen Duignan); Madeline Claire Trumble (Annie O’Brien); Mark Uhre (Elmer Woods); and Christian Whelan (Patrick Murphy).
Completing the cast are Karen Burthwright; Tiffany Adeline Cole; Garrett Coleman; Colin Cunliffe; Chloé Davis; Bernard Dotson; Jamal Christopher Douglas; Sam Edgerly; Shiloh Goodin; Jacobi Hall; Erin Lamar; Jason Oremus; Bridget Riley; Clinton Roane; Celia Mei Rubin; Erica Spyres; Lael Van Keuren; Brendan Wall; Sir Brock Warren; and Hailee Kaleem Wright.
Set in 1863 in the Five Points neighborhood of New York City, the musical repurposes popular 19th-century music to tell the story of a time when "Black and Irish Americans live side by side, work together, marry, and for a brief period realize racial harmony," according to a press release. But as the Civil War looms and African-American men are barred from enlisting, tensions flare.