Caroline, or Change
directed by Jeremy Gold Kronenberg
This production of the Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical is the first NYC revival since it was on Broadway in 2004. Set 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 R&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, 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?
1/30/2010 at 8:00pm