Caroline, or ChangeBack on November 2, the Day of the Dead (and S's birthday), we went to see this work at the Public Theater, and loved it. I meant to write a review here, but never got around to it. Fortunately my friend Bob Lamm has, and he says pretty much what I had wanted to say. I guess what we saw must have been a pre-preview, because Bob says it had its "opening" just a week ago. Here's Bob's review; see link below for images.
Just back from the Public Theater, where I saw one of the last previews of
the new musical, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, for which Tony Kushner wrote the book
and lyrics and Jeanine Tesori wrote the music. It had its "opening" a week
ago and apparently the reviews will be in the newspapers on Monday.
I found it very powerful and very moving, another triumph for Kushner (and
Tesori). And this rave comes from someone who rarely enjoys musicals unless
they were written by Frank Loesser!
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE is set in Louisiana in 1963. It's about Caroline
Thibodeaux, a divorced African American mother of four who is working as a
maid in the home of a Jewish family with lots of problems. To write a
musical addressing Black-Jewish issues is certainly walking through
landmines, but I believe that Kushner and Tesori have done a great job. For
me, the first act had some fine moments yet lagged at times. However, the
second act was superb and memorable.
Tonya Pinkins is sensational in the lead role. If Ben Brantley gives it a
rave review in the Times, if they can get the money to bring CAROLINE, OR
CHANGE to Broadway, it's a certainty that she will win a Tony Award for Best
Actress in a Musical. There's also a terrific performance by a young actress
who was new to me, Anika Noni Rose. She plays Caroline's teenage daughter,
a young woman who is becoming involved in the civil rights movement.
I'd definitely recommend seeing CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at the Public if you can
(though I imagine it will quickly sell out) or, hopefully, on Broadway.
Scenes from "Caroline, or Change"