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Show Spotlight: What You Should Know About CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

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How much do you know about the 2004 musical?

Every episode of It's the Day of the Show Y'all is your chance to learn about musicals that you may may not know yet, but always wanted to. The series, which airs every Tuesday hosted by Spencer Glass, is an ode to musical underdogs that deserve air-time- the perfect must-watch for the little theatre nerd within all of us.

This week's episode was all about Caroline, Or Change

Caroline, or Change is a musical with a book & lyrics by Tony Kushner (Angels in America), and music by Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Fun Home, Violet). The story focuses on Caroline, an African-American maid whose world of 1963 Louisiana ripples with change both large and small. Erupting with transcendent songs and larger-than-life imagination, Caroline, or Change explores how, in times of great transformation, even the simplest acts shake the earth.

The musical was first workshopped in May 1992 at New York's Public Theater. Director George C. Wolfe continued to workshop the musical at The Public Theater, where it opened on November 30, 2003. It transferred to Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on May 2, 2004 and closed on August 29, 2004 after 136 performances and 22 previews.

The cast was led by Tonya Pinkins in the title role, with Anika Noni Rose as Emmie Thibodeaux, Harrison Chad as Noah Gellman, Veanne Cox as Rose Stopnick Gellman and Chandra Wilson as Dotty Moffett (all both off-and on-Broadway).

The Broadway production was nominated for six Tony Awards in 2004, including a win for Anika Noni Rose for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

Over a decade later, director Michael Longhurst brought the show back in the UK at the Minerva Theatre. This version received raved reviews and eventually opened in the West End at the Playhouse Theatre in November 2018. Sharon D. Clarke earned an Oliver Award in 2019 for her performance as Caroline.

Clarke was set to reprise her role in a Broadway revival, which was slated to open on Broadway at Studio 54 on April 7, but delayed because of the world health crisis. Roundabout Theatre Company has postponed the production until Spring 2021.

Click here to learn even more about Caroline, Or Change on the latest episode of It's the Day of the Show Y'all!


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