Theater News

Jacob Fishel, A.J. Shively, and More to Star in New Musical Paradise Square

Berkeley Rep’s world-premiere musical based on Stephen Foster songs features a book cowritten by Marcus Gardley and Craig Lucas.

Craig Lucas is one of the book writers of Paradise Square: An American Musical.
Craig Lucas is one of the book writers of Paradise Square: An American Musical.
(© David Gordon)

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has announced the full cast and creative team for Paradise Square: An American Musical, receiving its world premiere December 27-February 17, 2019, with opening night set for Thursday, January 10, 2019. Based on the songs of Stephen Foster, the musical will be directed by Moisés Kaufman, with choreography by Bill T. Jones; a book by Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas, and Larry Kirwan; music by Jason Howland and Kirwan; and lyrics by Nathan Tysen.

Paradise Square is described as follows: "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?"

The cast will include Karen Burthwright, Kennedy Caughell, Tiffany Adeline Cole, Garrett Coleman, Colin Cunliffe, Chloé Davis, Kevin Dennis, Bernard Dotson, Jamal Christopher Douglas, Sidney Dupont, Sam Edgerly, Jacob Fishel, Shiloh Goodin, Jacobi Hall, Daren A. Herbert, Erin Lamar, Gabrielle McClinton, Ben Michael, Jason Oremus, Bridget Riley, Clinton Roane, Celia Mei Rubin, Christina Sajous, A.J. Shively, Erica Spyres, Madeline Claire Trumble, Mark Uhre, Lael Van Keuren, Brendan Wall, Sir Brock Warren, Christian Whelan, and Hailee Kaleem Wright.

The creative team will include Allen Moyer (scenic designer), Toni-Leslie James (costume designer), Donald Holder (lighting designer), Jon Weston (sound designer), Matthew B. Armentrout (hair and wig designer), Thulani Davis (dramaturg), and Hammerstep (Irish step choreographers).