2004 Tony-Winning Musical Caroline, or Change at the Ahmanson
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The last date listed for Caroline, or Change was Sunday December 26, 2004 / 7:30pm.
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Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from W. N. I.Red Velvet
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I loved the personification of the Washing Machine, Radio, Dryer, Bus, etc. It was a very creative way to carry the plot and to stirr in some good singing. The performers were very good, and that should be enough for a lovely evening of theater.
You will not go out whistling a tune because this is more of a Sondheimish operetta, giving no memorable songs but lots of memorable perfomances and chord intervals.
While "South Pacific" bravely took on the race issue at a time the country was not yet ready to listen, "Caroline" meekly reflects on how hard it must have been to be black and a servant during post war segregation. Also, it throws in the suggestion of how difficult it is to move on after one's wife and one's mother suffers an untimely lung cancer death. It is thought provoking, but hardly ground breaking.
At times it was hard to follow the words as they were bounced around in complex rockish musical structures. But this is a musical, after all, and the meanings were always obvious enough so that a few lost lyrics here and there are of no great consequence....(By the way I love this about musicals, and I love the genre itself very very much).
Since Rogers and Hammerstein, all musicals seem to have a dark side to contrast with the happy musicality of the spectacle. This show is pretty consistantly dark, made tolerable by the cleverness and the music. The comical moments, (with the old leftist Jew and his self deluded sense of connection with poor blacks and with the kid), felt like pandering and were uncomfortable. The moment of relief when the daughter asks forgiveness of the Mom/maid, though human and good, brought embarrassing applause from a Los Angeles audience that felt it must reward sweetness no matter how cloying.
My opinion is that Caroline will be a forgotten work one day, but all who attend it will be happy they did so. You will remember the performances, the voices, the good feel of having shared an honest hard working musical experience with fellow audience members and worthy actors. You won't be challenged to change the world, or to memorize new songs, but you will think about some challenging situations with a bit more insight and sympathy.y
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Saw this production in NY at the Public Theatre, but I think the LA production is even better. This is my 3rd time seeing it and I would love to see it one more time before it leaves. It is an amazing piece of theatre.
Quotes & Highlights
“An Extraordinary new musical!” —Frank Rich, The New York Times
“Daring, moving and profoundly beautiful. Certainly the most powerful show of the season!” —Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
“Manna from heaven!…Caroline is a celebration of human fortitude, of vast resources of love and hope. Tonya Pinkins is a miraculous force of nature.” —Elysa Gardner, USA Today
“You must see Caroline, or Change. A monumental achievement in American musical theatre.” —John Heilpern, The New York Observer
Written by Pulitzer and Tony Award winner (and Emmy Award winner on September 19, 2004) Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and two-time Tony nominee Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and directed by two-time Tony winner George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Noise/Funk), Caroline, or Change takes you to Louisiana, 1963, as the dawn of civil rights casts its blinding light on a nation, an African-American maid, and the Jewish family for whom she works.
Tonya Pinkins in Caroline, or Change, a new musical
Book and Lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by George C. Wolfe
2004 Tony Award
Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Anika Noni Rose