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It’s 1863 and in a 20-block area of Manhattan known as the Five Points, Black and Irish Americans live side by side, work together, marry, and for a brief period realize racial harmony. However, the intensifying Civil War soon results in the first-ever Federal draft, leading to riots as whites are called to enlist while blacks are barred from serving. Will the hard-won bonds of friendship, community, and family in the Five Points prevail or be severed forever?
Calling upon a variety of musical and dance traditions including Irish step-dancing and African traditional forms (Juba dancing), as well as new ones created from their fusion (tap dance), "Paradise Square" subverts and reframes some of the most popular music of the 19th century while honoring and celebrating this unique neighborhood’s diverse inhabitants, whose passionate, moving, and heartbreaking experiences burn in our imaginations today.
Book by Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas, and Larry Kirwan Music by Jason Howland and Larry Kirwan Lyrics by Nathan Tysen Based on the songs of Stephen Foster Conceived by Larry Kirwan Arrangements by Jason Howland and Larry Kirwan Musical Supervision and Orchestrations by Jason Howland Choreography by Bill T. Jones Directed by Moisés Kaufman
December 27th, 2018
March 4th, 2019
Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre
Recommended for ages 12 and up.
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