Broadway Musical ‘Paradise Square’ Announces Closing After Tony Win – The Hollywood Reporter

new musical Paradise Square will end on July 17, after picking up a Tony win for its lead actress, but struggling at the box office.

The musical, which tells the story of Irish immigrants and black Americans living together in New York City during the Civil War, opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on April 3. Since performances began, the production has encountered a number of challenges, including performance cancellations due to COVID-19 cases in the cast, as well as low box office receipts throughout the run.

In the most recent grossing week, which ended July 7, the production only grossed $300,000 and played at 55% capacity. The show reported its highest grossing ever, $387,669, in the week following the Tony Awards, where Joaquina Kalukango won Best Lead Actress in a Musical and delivered a standout performance of “let it burn“, which made the public of the ceremony stand up.

Still, that alone couldn’t save the show.

“We wanted to give Paradise Square every chance of succeeding, but various challenges proved insurmountable. We suffered two COVID shutdowns, including 13 days just after our opening night, which resulted in a critical loss of marketing momentum. The show, produced after the pandemic began, was ineligible for SVOG funds and did not receive compensation because insurers would no longer cover new productions for losses due to COVID. Even with significant awards recognition and the sensational performance of Joaquina Kalukango and our cast during the Tony Awards broadcast, we only saw a modest bump at the box office,” said producer Garth Drabinsky in the Press release.

Many Broadway productions this season have struggled with declining tourist numbers in the city, which has hurt attendance and led to the impending closure of productions such as Come from afar and Dear Evan Hansen.

However, this particular production was met with controversy from the start. It was supposed to be the return of Drabinsky, who spent years in prison after being found guilty of fraud and forgery by the Ontario Superior Court. Drabinsky was previously the CEO of Livent, the theater production company behind shows such as Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman, and was convicted, alongside his business partner, of misrepresenting the company’s financial statements between 1993 and 1998.

The production, which was capitalized up to $15 million, was followed by reports of late payments to suppliers and, as reported The New York Timesa early contract dispute between Actors’ Equity and the production, in which the union ordered actors not to show up for a day of rehearsals.

The musical characteristics didirection by Moisés Kaufman and choreography by Bill T. Jones. The book is written by Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan, with music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Masi Asare, additional music by Larry Kirwan, and was inspired in part by the songs of Stephen Foster.

A national tour of Paradise Square is planned for the 2023-2024 season and international productions are also planned. An original Broadway cast recording is slated for release in September.