1st major post-COVID Pre-Broadway Chicago show announced: 'Paradise Square, A New Musical'

Chicago theater returns with 'Paradise Square, A New Musical'

ByKaren Jordan and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
1st major post-COVID Chicago Pre-Broadway show announced
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The first major post-COVID Pre-Broadway show in Chicago was announced Tuesday: "Paradise Square, A New Musical" at the Nederlander Theatre.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Paradise Square, A New Musical" will be the first major Pre-Broadway show to raise its curtain in Chicago after the prolonged closure of live theater due to the COVID pandemic, Broadway In Chicago announced Tuesday.

Its Pre-Broadway engagement at Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre will run Nov. 2 to Dec. 5.

"Outside of Broadway, there is no more important city in America for live theater than Chicago," said Garth Drabinsky, Paradise Square producer.

When theaters reopen they will be at full capacity and patrons will be required to sear masks.

Michael Edwards of the Chicago Loop Alliance said the return of Broadway in Chicago will be a much needed boost to an industry devastated by the pandemic.

"Arts and culture, theater, especially into the evening is a huge component of what makes the theaters, they generate over $90 million in economic activity for 6000 people," said Edwards.

Part of that revnue goes towards bars, restaurants and parking in the theater district.

Amy Lawless, owner of the Dearborn restaurant, welcomes the return of theater patrons.

"Knowing that there's certain shows on, it's comforting to know that these shows are starting to happen again," said Lawless.

Paradise Square is set in New York City in 1863 when the Civil War raged on.

Within this galvanizing story of racial harmony undone by a country at war with itself, we meet the denizens of a local saloon called Paradise Square: the indomitable Black woman who owns it; her Irish-Catholic sister-in-law and her Black minister husband; a conflicted newly arrived Irish immigrant; a fearless freedom seeker; an anti-abolitionist political boss, and a penniless songwriter trying to capture it all, the production company said. They have conflicting notions of what it means to be an American while living through one of the most tumultuous eras in our country's history.

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The world premiere of "Paradise Square" was produced in January 2019 by Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The musical is based on Hard Times, which was originally presented at the intimate Off-Broadway theatre, Nancy Manocherian's the cell, in 2012. With visceral and nuanced staging and choreography that captures the pulsating energy when Black and Irish cultures meet, "Paradise Square" depicts an overlooked true-life moment when hope and possibility shone bright, Broadway In Chicago said.

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Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing GroupSales@BroadwayInChicago.com.

"Paradise Square" will be a part of the new BIC subscription, which launches in August.

Individual tickets for "Paradise Square" will go on sale on June 8.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.