Shows "C"

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE A through-composed musical: Music - Jeanine Tesori: Lyrics - Tony Kushner; Book - Tony Kushner Productions 2003 Off-Broadway Eugene O'Niell Theatre, Broadway - May 2, 2004 to August 29, 2004 (136 performances) National Theatre on the Lyttelton stage (in rep) October, 2006 - 4 January, 2007 Synopsis The musical is set in Lake Charles, Louisiana during the American civil rights movement, just before, after and during the Kennedy Assassination. Much of Caroline's work day passes in the Gellmans' laundry room, which adds some surprising singing characters to the cast – the washer, the drier, and the radio. The title Caroline, Or Change has several meanings. The word 'change' is used in the sense of the change in Noah's pocket. Another sense is Caroline's tentative decision to quit her job. In addition, Noah goes through a social change after a family tragedy and Caroline changes by treating her family better and understanding Noah better. Finally, Rose changes from a Northerner to a Southerner. The nation changes as a result of JFK's death. SYNOPSIS Caroline Thibodeaux is a black maid for a Southern Jewish family, the Gellmans. The Gellmans' young son, Noah, is enamored of Caroline, a woman resistant to the sweep of change she sees around her. Their friendship has intensified since his mother's death. Noah's new stepmother Rose, unable to give Caroline a raise, enlists Caroline's help in a plan to teach Noah a lesson about leaving change in his pants pocket (since Caroline does the family's laundry as part of her duties). Rose tells Noah and Caroline that Caroline should keep the money Noah leaves in his pockets. Caroline is loathe to take money from a child – but her own children desperately need food, clothing and shoes. The punishment goes awry when a $20 bill goes missing, and Caroline's relationship with Noah suffers a painful breakdown, causing a rift between her family and the Gellmans. With the death of JFK and the inspirational speeches of Martin Luther King, the tide of change begins to affect Caroline's life, and she must come to terms with racial turmoil and the end of segregation. But the upbeat ending, involving Caroline's daughter Emmie, portends hope for Caroline's community. STORY Act One a hot day in 1963 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Caroline, a black maid who works for the Gellman family for $30 a week, launders clothes in the basement (“16 Feet Beneath The Sea”). Caroline keeps herself sane in the basement by imagining the items in the basement as people (“The Radio/Laundry Quintet”). The Gellmans’ 8-year-old son Noah, whose mother has recently died of cancer, is attracted to Caroline, a no-nonsense single parent (“Noah Down The Stairs”). Caroline allows Noah to light her one cigarette each day, a secret they can share (“The Cigarette”). Caroline puts the laundry in the dryer and sings about her four kids and cleaning houses for 22 years (“The Dryer/I Got Four Kids”). Noah’s new stepmother Rose cannot give Caroline a raise, but tells her to take some extra food home to her kids (“Caroline, There’s Extra Food”); Caroline declines. Noah’s father Stuart, despondent since his wife’s death, tells Noah he has lost his faith (“There is No God, Noah”). Noah confesses that he hates Rose