Caroline, or Change Review 2006
Opened 19 Oct 2006
Written: Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner, Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed:George C. Wolfe
Cast: Tonya Pinkins (Caroline)
Synopsis: Louisiana, 1963, in the immediate aftermath of the Kennedy assassination. Caroline, a black maid to a southern Jewish family, is struggling to keep afloat both emotionally and economically, while the young son of her employer tries to make sense of the world following the death of his mother. A musical exploration of human relationships, love, loss and social transformation.
What the critics had to say.....
NICOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Caroline, Or Change turns out, therefore, to be a quaintly charming musical, beautifully acted...Unfortunately Kushner's almost non-stop lyrics, whose words too often become submerged by the 10-strong orchestra, are embarrassingly inept, banal and rambling." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "A remarkable musical...the real joy lies in finding a musical that combines compassion with social awareness." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Amazing piece of music-theatre...Kushner's great achievement is to make the political personal in a work that combines great dramatic intensity with wild flights of fantasy and music of thrilling variety and strength...Tonya Pinkins is simply sensational in the title role" BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Tesori’s score, which embraces Afro-American and Jewish music, rock and blues and gospel, does help to give the evening the size and significance it’s in danger of lacking." ALEKS SIERZ for THE STAGE says, "Enjoyable to watch and highly emotional." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "The staging by George C Wolfe is a pictorial joy. Caroline, or Change makes a delightful change from the usual no-brainer musical."
Production photo by Catherine Ashmore