‘Paradise Square’ Closing on Broadway July 17, Citing Soft Ticket Sales
“Paradise Square,” a Tony Award-winning musical set in Civil War-era New York City, will close on July 17, citing soft ticket sales.
The show’s producers say that the closing will take place “barring a dramatic upturn in business,” an unusually frank acknowledgment of the commercial struggles the show has faced since it opened in April. “Paradise Square” received mixed reviews, but was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning one for Joaquina Kalukango’s lead performance. During the Tony broadcast, Kalukango sang the show’s galvanic 11th hour number, “Let It Burn,” earning a rapturous standing ovation, but the national television spotlight failed to ignite the box office.
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“I am enormously proud of the work of our prodigiously talented cast who are committed to the story they tell at every performance, and our extraordinary creative team who collaborated brilliantly to bring the world of ‘Paradise Square’ to life,” said producer Garth H. Drabinsky.
“Paradise Square” represented a comeback attempt for Drabinsky, a Tony Award-winning producer behind “Fosse” and “Ragtime” whose career was derailed after he was convicted and sentenced to prison for fraud and forgery in 2009.
At the time of closing, “Paradise Square” will have played 23 previews and 108 performances. Producers are planning a national tour for the 2023-2024 season and say that international productions are being developed. The ambitious musical examined race relations by dramatizing a conflict between Irish Americans and Black Americans in Manhattan’s Five Points.
“For all its spring-loaded set-up, “Paradise Square” quickly runs out of steam, sputtering through a reprise-heavy second act that somehow feels both bloated and rushed,” Variety‘s Naveen Kumar wrote in his review.
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