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This show closed on March 3, 2019

About Paradise Square

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

Start Date

End Date


Recommended for ages 12 and up.

"emotionally involving...beautifully designed and performed"
SF Examiner
"[Bill T.] Jones’ choreography is well worth the price of admission in itself, stunningly dynamic, evocative and unconventional."
Mercury News

Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre

2015 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

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