It is 1863 in Five Points, a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. This neighborhood is called home by Irish immigrants escaping The Great Famine and Black Americans, born free and escaped slaves. Paradise Square is a saloon that is a true melting pot way ahead of it’s time in a young America.
From the opening number, it’s clear this is a Broadway bound musical. It’s full of big voices and strong emotions. The set is also very large with big moving parts. The drama between the characters slowly builds throughout the show. It all leads up to the Civil War Draft Riots in July of 1863.
Joaquina Kalukango is exceptional as Nelly O’Brien, the owner of the saloon. This is especially true in her show stopping number, “Let it Burn”. Chillina Kennedy is superb as Nelly’s sister-in-law and a strong leader. A.J. Shively is excellent as newly arrived Irish immigrant battling to not be drafted. Sidney Dupont is marvelous as the escaped slave waiting for his love to meet up with him.
Get tickets now for Paradise Square through December 5th before it heads to New York City.
Cost of a ticket: $63 to $200
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price +
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother
P.S. It has been 3 years since the last Broadway preview opened in Chicago. That show was Tootsie.