Larry Kirwan, creator of the new musical “Paradise Square” at Berkeley Rep, the author of five books, and the lead vocalist and guitarist for the legendary New York Irish American band Black 47, in conversation with host Richard Wolinsky.
Larry Kirwin’s five books are Green Suede Shoes, a memoir subtitled An irish American Odyssey; A History of Irish Music; Rockin’ the Bronx; Mad Angels, a colleciton of plays; and a novel based on his play, Liverpool Fantasy. He’s written several plays, many of which were produced in New York, off and off-off Broadway. His band, Black 47 produced albums and went on tour over a 25-year period from 1989 to 2014, along the way making a name for itself through its music and politics.
“Paradise Square,” which runs at Berkeley Rep through February 17, 2019, is set in the Five Points section of New York in 1863 at the onset of the Civil War draft riots, and deals with the relationship of the Irish and African-American residents of the neighborhood. The show uses the music of Stephen Foster, augmented by lyrics by Nathan Tysen, with a book by Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan. The creative team also includes the choreographer Bill T. Jones, director Moises Kaufman, and composer/arranger Jason Howland
An extended version of this interview can be found as a Radio Wolinsky podcast.