In the mid 1800s, lower Manhattan contained a row of streets that were known as the Five Points. On the outside, the streets were lined with danger and uncertainty, but inside the community, at an all-are-welcome bar called Paradise Square, it was easy to forget about life for awhile. It was there that freed slaves and Irish immigrants came together and created an explosion of music and dancing that would define the generation.
The cast and crew of Broadway’s Paradise Square have been working tirelessly to bring this astonishing work of art to life right before our eyes, and we finally got to witness the masterpiece firsthand on Sunday night. The red carpet dazzled with Broadway legends and political figures, all sharing a buzzing excitement for the show that was about to begin.
In attendance was NYC Mayor Eric Adams, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Huma Abedin, Patti LuPone (Company), Chita Rivera, Former NY Giant Tiki Barber, Traci Lynn Johnson (The Real Housewives of New Jersey), Jane Lynch (Funny Girl), Arian Moayed (Succession), James Monroe Iglehart, Brian Stokes Mitchell, LaChanze (Trouble in Mind), Composer/Lyricist Jason Robert Brown, Danny Burstein (Moulin Rouge), Lillias White, Ramin Karimloo (Funny Girl), Victoria Clark, Joe Crowley, Sheila Johnson, Shoshana Bean (Mr. Saturday Night), Julie Halston, Judy Kaye (Diana The Musical), Richard Maltby, Jared Grimes (Funny Girl), Merle Dandridge (Once on This Island), Choreographer Lorin Latarro (Waitress), Frank Wildhorn, Charles Rangel and so many more.
Paradise Square opens with Nelly O’Brien, played by Joaquina Kalukango, telling the story of the Five Points and how her and her family ended up there. Running the bar is her loving husband Willy, vivacious sister-in-law Annie, kindhearted brother-in-law Reverend Samuel, Annie’s nephew — the incredibly talented Owen who has just arrived from Ireland, and Joah, a runway slave who’s taken the name Washington. The family goes through moments of triumph, fear, pain and joy as they move through the ever-changing times of 19th century Manhattan.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams took to the stage before the show began to kick off the evening, comparing the rise of the curtain to him taking the stage as mayor on January 1st, and how the emotions of the cast resonated with him as he went on this journey.
We could not possibly recommend taking a trip to Paradise Square for yourself more! Check it out and get tickets here!