Caroline, or Change
This Philadelphia premiere is proudly sponsored by The Jewish Exponent and inside Magazine.
Book and Lyrics by TONY KUSHNER
Music by JEANINE TESORI
Directed by TERRENCE J. NOLEN
On the F. Otto Haas Stage
March 8 - April 15, 2007
Race, rage and civil rights are at the heart of this acclaimed, deeply personal story by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America). Drawn from Kushner's own Louisiana childhood, Caroline, or Change centers on Caroline Thibodeaux, a divorced, middle-aged African-American maid who works for a Jewish family in the suburban enclave of Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1963. She finds herself in the middle of a family conflict when eight-year-old Noah Gellman's stepmother allows Caroline to keep any money she finds in the child's pockets while doing the laundry. The show's title references the poignant double meaning of the spare change Noah leaves behind and the vast social changes occurring in 1960s America.
Originally commissioned as an opera, Caroline, or Change features a virtuosic, sung-through score by Jeanine Tesori, composer of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Violet – which had its Philadelphia premiere at Arden Theatre Company in 1999. Blending blues, gospel, klezmer and traditional Jewish melodies, Tesori's music provides the breathtaking medium for Kushner's provocative and powerful tale. Caroline, or Change opened on Broadway in May 2004 and was applauded by The New York Times as "an extraordinary new musical."
This production is supported by the Charlotte Cushman Foundation and by the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts.
"Deeply human... splendid... rich, emotionally driven characters...thrillingly unpredictable... top-notch" –Philadelphia Inquirer
"From its breathtaking opening to its poignant finale, Arden Theatre Company's spellbinding production of the musical Caroline, or Change
proves originality can still be found in American theater." –Philadelphia Weekly
"Gripping ... dazzling theatricality. Joilet F. Harris effortlessly brings a striking power to the role [of Caroline]." –Reading Eagle
"Kushner and Tesori energize the form, crafting first rate musical theatre by wrapping bits of life in stunning music. Joilet Harris can sing her heart out" –Curtain Up
"Triumphant! This stellar ensemble is headed by the magnificent performance of Joilet F. Harris as Caroline." –Edge Philadelphia
"One of the most ambitious pieces of musical theater to emerge this decade." –Talkin' Broadway
"Caroline is a must ... an unquestionably powerful and provocative evening of theater" –Philadelphia City Paper
"Talent in abundance ... clever, thought-provoking ... mega-talented cast" –County Press
"The most impressive show I can recall" –KYW Newsradio
Behind the Scenes–
Howard Shapiro interviews Jeanine Tesori in The Philadelphia Inquirer
's TheaterCast.  [Get podcast
talks with Tony Kushner about his new Broadway musical Caroline, or Change
(from Dec. 2004).  [Get podcast
's Hadas Kuznits speaks with director Terry Nolen and gets audience reactions.  [Get podcast