CAROLINE, OR CHANGE centers its action on the Gellman
family and their African-American maid, Caroline. It is 1963 in sleepy
Lake Charles, Louisiana. Caroline is drifting through her life as a
single mother of four working in a service job to a white family.
A fragile, yet beautiful
friendship develops between the young Gellman son, Noah (who has lost
his mother), and Caroline. Noah's stepmother Rose, unable to give
Caroline a raise, 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...
Tony Kushner brings his remarkable talent to the book and lyrics. Jeanine Tesori's
skillful and varied score enlivens the nearly sung-through musical. Each role is fully
realized; complicated and deeply human. The characters must either embrace or reject the larger social changes
that are in motion. There are no easy choices for the characters to make.