New York City
New York City. 1863. As the Civil War raged on, an extraordinary thing occurred amid the dangerous streets and crumbling tenement houses of the Five Points, the notorious 19th-century Lower Manhattan slum. Irish immigrants escaping the devastation of the Great Famine settled alongside free-born Black Americans and those who escaped slavery, arriving by means of the Underground Railroad. The two communities co-existed, intermarried, raised families, and shared their cultures in this unlikeliest of neighborhoods. The amalgamation between the communities took its most exuberant form with raucous dance contests on the floors of the neighborhood bars and dance halls. It is here in the Five Points where tap dancing was born, as Irish step dancing joyously competed with Black American Juba. This new musical features choreography by Tony-winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening).