Monday, June 05, 2006

Caroline, or Change

Last night L. and I saw the brilliant musical "Caroline, or Change," book and lyrics by Pulitzer and Tony Award Winner Tony Kushner. It has been a long time since I willingly attended a musical and even longer since I might have even considered using brilliant to modify musical, but. The musical is witty, true. I suppose I mean brilliant in that quirky impressed British way of saying it. Brilliant! Sans irony, of course,which might leave me with beautiful as a better choice to describe the work.

I purchased tickets for the show because it received rave reviews from all local sources. It was so successful that it even extended its run by two weeks. Read: You have two weeks to run out and see if for yourself here in Boston. Read reveiw excerpts and buy tickets here:

When you consider the many tasty treats you can have at local restaurants and eateries near the Boston Center for the Arts, how can you resist? L. and I dreamed of a dark chocolate calzone at the Picco, but there was a menu change during our over-long absence. So we happily went out on a dessert limb and had the ice-cream cookie. So simple, yet so decadent. We gushed over the play while we shared our chocolate drenched delight. Powerful. Witty. The music--not even the lyrics--gave me goosebumps and made my body want to cry. Here is the synopsis:

Set in a small town in Louisiana in 1963, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE tells the powerful story of Caroline, a black maid working for a Southern Jewish family while struggling to raise her own children amidst the swirling social changes sweeping the country. At the heart of this beautiful musical is Caroline's relationship with the family's young son, Noah, who bonds with Caroline after the death of his mother. Everything changes for these friends, however, when Noah's stepmother decrees that Caroline can keep any change that Noah leaves in the pockets of his laundry. This decision ultimately sparks a confrontation that rips apart both households and mirrors the conflicts outside their doors.

Caroline, or Change left me with a fresh sense of the power of good writing and the joy that lingers from experiencing performance art. L. worked out how to shape a narrative he had been trying to puzzle out.

While the performers were very good, three cheers go out to the young Jacob Brandt, who played the part of Noah. Well done!

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