CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!

Pasadenaguy
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CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#0
Posted: 10/21/06 at 4:31pm
This is my favorite show EVER! It's beyond brilliant. The music is poetic, and the performances are genius. Tonya Pinkins' soulful and heart breakingly beautiful portrayal of Caroline, is one that I will never forget.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. I just saw it in London (National Theater) after seeing it twice in LA. I can't get enough of it. Please do yourself a favor and see it, if you haven't already. It's very deep and emotional. It's not your typical American musical.
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#1
Posted: 10/21/06 at 5:41pm
Is it the same as the Broadway production?
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#2
Posted: 10/21/06 at 7:59pm
I LOVE this show as well!

I cannot believe I won't be seeing it
"Picture "The View," with the wisecracking, sympathetic sweethearts of that ABC television show replaced by a panel of embittered, suffering or enraged Arab women" -the Times review of Black Eyed
lifeisacabaret
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#3
Posted: 10/22/06 at 6:16am
How did you find the sound system? Was it very clear....was the vocal intelligibility good?

Did you sit in the stalls and walk past the sound desk?
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#4
Posted: 10/22/06 at 9:05am
i sat in the front of the dress circle and heard everything perfectly. The theatre isnt huge so wherever you sit the sound and view is good. Does anyone reckon this will transfer to the west end. I hope it will, but have a feeling it might struggle to find an audience like the Broadway production
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#5
Posted: 10/23/06 at 6:40am
I saw it on the 17th and loved it. Sound was perfectly clear; though the people next to me were compaining that they couldn't understand everything that was said, I think this was due to the accent, dialect and rapid delivery of some sections.

Special mention to the girl who plays Caroline's daughter who nearly stole the show from Tonya Pinkins! One to look out for in the future...

"Murder is a very British thing, isn't it? I mean, it's almost like a hobby over there."
"Why do you insist you must hear the words? When you know I cannot give you words. Not the ones you need..."

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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#6
Posted: 10/24/06 at 5:15pm
I saw the performance on 23rd October and found it hugely enjoyable. The NT have assembled a fine cast led, of course, by the sublime Tonya Pinkins. Would love to see a West End transfer to give it the kind of run it was denied on Broadway.
Updated On: 10/24/06 at 05:15 PM
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#7
Posted: 10/24/06 at 6:05pm
i'd love to see a West End transfer as well. This deserves to scoop at the next Olivier awards
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#8
Posted: 10/25/06 at 7:19pm
My father is currently overseas in London for business and just saw the production. He said: Despite the wonderful talent, it was one of the most anti semitic plays he has ever seen. I have never heard or see COC, so I do not know much about it, but it would be dissapointing if it really were so anti semitic that one cannot enjoy it.
...What happened next, was stranger still, a woman breathless and afraid, appeared out of the night, completely dressed in white. She had a secret she would tell, of one who had mistreated her. Her face and frightened gaze, my mind cannot erase...But then she ran from view. She looked so much like you...
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#9
Posted: 10/26/06 at 4:38am
I don't really understand in what sense the play could be described as 'anti-Semitic' - I would take that to mean that the piece denigrated Jews, and it didn't appear to do that to me. Tony Kushner, who wrote the book and libretto, is Jewish so I would expect he has a greater insight into life in a Jewish family at that time than I would. I suppose the family could be described as stereotypical in some ways but they weren't made fun of or denigrated for being Jewish.

I thought one of the strengths of the piece is that characters are just shown as who they are in 1960s southern America - whether that be intransigent, crusading for change, sad or bereaved - they were just people witnessing turbulent times.

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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#10
Posted: 10/26/06 at 6:35pm
I have to say that I am stunned by the positive response this show seems to be having. I totally respect everyone's opinions and clearly individual tastes will differ appreciably. But I saw "Caroline" on Broadway and I thought it was honestly one the worst pieces of musical theatre I had ever seen or heard (and I have VERY broad tastes in musicals). I thought Kushner's book was pretentious beyond belief and the score bored me to tears. I am trying to summon up the courage to go and see it again while it is at the National in the hope that maybe I was just in the wrong mood or something and give it another chance. But I don't think I could suffer through it again.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
Jwaa
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#11
Posted: 10/26/06 at 8:47pm
its the best thing iv seen on the west end....

i sat there jaw dropped in her solo and actually couldnt belive i was lucky enough to see this amazing person creating such a powerful vocal storm!!!!!!!
damn it kills me, this show!

after Violet i knew i would fall in love with all of Jeanine's work....so beautiful, and personal and exploring.

cant wait to see it again!
students go for 10! i felt spoilt!
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#12
Posted: 10/26/06 at 10:18pm
It's good to see the show being so well recieved in London, or, atleast on the board.

is it selling?

The play is really, in no way, anti semitic. I'm Jewish and never even THOUGHT of being offended.

Jwaa is right, Tonya is amazing. Lot's Wife is amazing and Tesori is one of the most underappreciated composers of today.

Truly a fantastic show
"Picture "The View," with the wisecracking, sympathetic sweethearts of that ABC television show replaced by a panel of embittered, suffering or enraged Arab women" -the Times review of Black Eyed
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#13
Posted: 10/27/06 at 8:48am
For the person who wondered if it's the same production as New York saw - yes, with some minor adjustment. Bravo to the British cast members who were uniformly magnificent!!!
Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#14
Posted: 10/27/06 at 9:51am
I agree with your dad, Tony Kushner is such a bigoted anti-semite! I hear he hates gays too and killed lots of them in one of his other plays :O


I am seeing this tomorrow. I AM SOSOSOSOSO EXCITED OMFG.
P.S. Caroline-Q-or-TBoo, it doesn't seem to be selling very well as its on tkts and there is a half price offer already...the National almost always ends up full, it's just annoying that for some reason they are finding it quite hard to sell this show even since it got AMAZING reviews here...
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#15
Posted: 10/27/06 at 6:35pm
This is only what I've heard:

All of the jews depicted in the play have underdeveloped characterizations and the entire family seems like stereotypes. The father and grandparents are lacking personality. The hanukkah scene in the second act shows the jews totally unaware of their suffering black servants. The reality of the matter is that Jews were in the forefront of the equal rights movement at the time, and I think this is why he questioned the characterization of the family and their characterization as shown in the play.

To each man, his own. I haven't seen it so I really cannot say anything, but this is the reasoning that explains why he may have felt this way.
...What happened next, was stranger still, a woman breathless and afraid, appeared out of the night, completely dressed in white. She had a secret she would tell, of one who had mistreated her. Her face and frightened gaze, my mind cannot erase...But then she ran from view. She looked so much like you...
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#16
Posted: 10/27/06 at 7:21pm
Okay, I know you didn't see it but I wanted to say this anyway...maybe you tell your dad, see what he thinks.

"The father and grandparents are lacking personality."

Seriously? The characters in this are soo beautifully drawn.

The father is a heartbreaking figure. "My sad little son...she needs from me things that I cannot provide...a heart. I'll stand here eight days till the last candle's burned...till Noah has grown, he and I will live here in this house, all alone, and I'll say to him "Noah, the moon shone so bright when she played her bassoon that last Chanukah night..." The father lacks personality? He is absolutely numbed and emptied by grief.

Maybe your dad just wanted it to be more about the Jewish characters...but it's not their story, not really. It's Caroline's. I mean...all of the Jews depicted are underdeveloped? wtf? Noah and Rose are astonishingly developed characters...and the others are pretty much supporting.

The hanukkah scene in the second act shows the jews totally unaware of their suffering black servants.

I think this is wrong too. "Let's wish our Negro neighbours well!, the Gellman grandparents say. Grandpa Stopnick says "I've been waiting since the 30s...for the fight against oppression...Now the Negro leads the way!"

Um. Yeah. I love this show...
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#17
Posted: 10/27/06 at 7:27pm
Best musical of the season! Well... levels with Sunday..George in my opinion!
Despite the enjoyable factor of Wicked and Avnue Q is really good, C/C had more heart and depth in the book.
And Tonya Pinkins kicked ass! and just blows Idina Menzel back across the Atlantic and Julie/Jenna were both great but just nothing compared to TOnya acting/vocal wise in my opinion!
Sad its a limited run... wish it cud go longer!
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#18
Posted: 10/28/06 at 5:02am
Anyone goin on the last performance?? If so, ill see ya there!
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#19
Posted: 10/28/06 at 6:02am
I'll be there on the last performance too! :)
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#20
Posted: 10/28/06 at 6:53am
Wicked!! My mate is playing Noah at the moment, Jonny Weldon, and he is on the last night! O i do hope it transferes!! Anyone seen him in it yet?? How was he??
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#21
Posted: 10/28/06 at 12:13pm
Agree 100% (as usual) with Joshy.

"Picture "The View," with the wisecracking, sympathetic sweethearts of that ABC television show replaced by a panel of embittered, suffering or enraged Arab women" -the Times review of Black Eyed
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#22
Posted: 10/29/06 at 8:51am
I can't say too much as I'm staying with a friend and can't be online for long - but I saw the show at the matinee yesterday and it was just unbelievably amazing and powerful and beautiful. Loved it so so much. Definitely one of my favourite shows now! Tonya was just STUNNING. The applause after Lot's Wife was one of the longest I've ever heard after one song. I can't waiiitt to see it again.
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#23
Posted: 11/1/06 at 11:47am
"All of the jews depicted in the play have underdeveloped characterizations and the entire family seems like stereotypes."

Some of them are minor characters, just as some of the black characters are minor as well. It has nothing to do with whether or not any of them are Jewish. And I didn't notice anything particularly stereotypical about them at all. Unless you call celebrating Chanukah a "stereotype", which...whatever. Perhaps he was offended that the mother was desperately trying to get Noah to save money and not leave his spare change in his pants. But it was made quite clear that the issue is that money is very tight for the family (Rose describes them as "broke" when on the phone with her father), so if that is perceived as a Jewish "stereotype", then it is the misconception of the person who feels that way (who is not paying attention to the show AT ALL other than to pick points out of context to complain about), not a fault of the playwright.

"The father and grandparents are lacking personality. The hanukkah scene in the second act shows the jews totally unaware of their suffering black servants. The reality of the matter is that Jews were in the forefront of the equal rights movement at the time, and I think this is why he questioned the characterization of the family and their characterization as shown in the play."

Sounds like someone wasn't paying attention to the lyrics, characters or story (and missed the entire scene where the grandfather explicitly says that Jews should be more vocal and proactive like the blacks in their struggle for equality). And yes, many Jews were at the forefront of the equal rights movement, but most of them were in the north. Southern Jews were known to be quite different in their politics and ideology. This was also illustrated in Driving Miss Daisy and The Last Night of Ballyhoo. It sounds like whoever decided that the Jews portrayed in Caroline or Change were not uniformly represented as broad-minded, tolerant and liberal, was just as guilty as they claim Kushner to be of stereotyping (just a different stereotype). AND they seemed to be missing the point of the entire production.

The thing is, the show was inspired by characters, settings, and events in Tony Kushner's own life. He grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana (a rather dismal place, I've been there). A friend of mine is Tony's cousin.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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re: CAROLINE OR CHANGE!!!#24
Posted: 11/2/06 at 2:24pm
Well put Mister Matt. I have posted on this show numerous times. I got to see it on Broadway and was just floored. It took it a while to sink in because it hit home in a lot of ways for me. It is a masterpiece in my opinion (And the opinion of a lot of other people). Before I saw it, I heard so much about "Lot's Wife". Having never heard it until the afternoon I saw it, when the time arrived for her to deliver the song, I knew it was coming from those ominous first cords. The power with which Ms. Pinkins delivered that song was like nothing I have experienced in the theatre. I was just blown away. When she got to the slower part of the song at the end, I just broke down and cried. All of the music, IMHO, is just stunning. The sound at the O'neill was perfect the day I saw it. And Anika Noni Rose deserved that Tony. She was incredible. A lot of people say that Ms. Pinkins was robbed of a Tony for her performance. I will honestly say that, yes, I thought she should have gotten it. But if I had my way, it would have been a tie between her and Kristen Chenoweth. Idina was good, but, in my opinion, not better than the other two I mentioned.

This show is not for eveyone, I am sure. But it is one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen in a long time. I have wondered why people don't like it or don't get it. I especially wonder why black people here in the states around my age don't get it. If you have any knowledge of the climate in our country at that time, you should get it. Or at least understand that even though you may not have lived in that part of the country, this is probably how it was in Louisiana. But we are all allwowed to have our own opinions, likes and dislikes. I just feel that any true theatre lover would just embrace this show. It is fresh and much different than a lot of stuff out there. A breath of fresh theatrical air. JMHO
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