Set in 1963 Louisiana, a provocative story of political change, social change... and pocket change.
Playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and composer Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie) have elegantly crafted this bold and uniquely poignant new theatrical work. Tesori's skillful and varied score of gospel, soul and Ramp;B, enlivens this nearly sung-through musical.brbrSet in 1963 in sleepy Lake Charles, Louisiana, Caroline, or Change centers its action on the Gellman family and their African-American maid, Caroline. "Nothing ever happen underground in Louisiana / 'Cause there ain't no underground in Louisiana / There is only underwater." Caroline informs the audience at the beginning of the show, and Caroline herself is underwater, drifting through her life, nearly paralyzed by her circumstances - a single mother of four working in a service job to a white family. Caroline spends her days in the basement laundry room, with the Washing Machine (a sultry Caribbean blues singer), Dryer (a fiery Ramp;B singer), and radio (a Supremes-like trio), with an afternoon visit from the young Gellman son, Noah, who is just as isolated upstairs in his home as Caroline is downstairs. A fragile, yet beautiful friendship has developed between Noah and Caroline since his mother's death. Noah's new stepmother Rose, unable to give Caroline a raise, a tells Caroline that she may keep the money Noah leaves in his pockets. Caroline balks, and refuses to take money from a child-but her own children desperately need food, clothing and shoes...Does she or doesn't she?brbrKushner brings his remarkable talent to the book and lyrics-there are no easy choices for the characters to make, and each role is fully realized, complicated and deeply human. The thunder of the civil rights movement and John F. Kennedy's death is distant, yet reverberates deeply through the script, provoking all characters to see their lives in a new light and either embrace or reject the larger social changes that are in motion. The most surprising choices are made by the children, Noah Gellman, and Caroline