Eugene O'Neill Theatre, (5/02/2004 - 8/29/2004)

First Preview: Apr 13, 2004
Opening Date: May 02, 2004
Closing Date: Aug 29, 2004
Total Previews: 22
Total Performances: 136

Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway
Setting: Lake Charles, Louisiana, November - December, 1963.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director)

Produced by Carole Shorenstein Hays, HBO, Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director), Freddy DeMann, Scott Rudin, Ruth Hendel, Elisabeth Morten, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Fox Theatricals, Jennifer Manocherian, Jane Bergère, Roger Berlind, Clear Channel Entertainment, Joan Cullman, Greg Holland, Scott Nederlander, Margo Lion, Daryl Roth, Frederick Zollo and Jeffrey Sine; Produced in association with The Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival (George C. Wolfe: Producer; Mara Manus: Executive Director)

Book by Tony Kushner; Lyrics by Tony Kushner; Music by Jeanine Tesori; Music orchestrated by Rick Bassett, Joseph Joubert and Buryl Red; Musical Director: Linda Twine

Directed by George C. Wolfe; Choreographed by Hope Clarke

Scenic Design by Riccardo Hernández; Costume Design by Paul Tazewell; Lighting Design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer; Sound Design by Jon Weston; Hair Design by Jeffrey Frank; Associate Scenic Design: Paul Weimer; Associate Lighting Design: Vivien Leone; Associate Sound Design: Jason Strangfeld

General Manager: Stuart Thompson Productions; Associate Co. Mgr: Bess Eckstein

Production Stage Manager: Rick Steiger; Production Manager: Gene O'Donovan; Stage Manager: Lisa Dawn Cave

Musical Supervisor: Kimberly Grigsby; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by Linda Twine; Associate Conductor: Matthew Sklar; Music Copyist: Steven Alper

Casting: Jordan Thaler and Heidi Griffiths, C.S.A.; General Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing: TMG - The Marketing Group; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Michal Daniel; Dance Captain: Lisa Dawn Cave

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Opening Night Cast

Tonya PinkinsCaroline Thibodeaux
Chuck CooperThe Dryer
The Bus
Reathel BeanGrandpa Gellman
Harrison ChadNoah Gellman
Tracy Nicole ChapmanThe Radio
David CostabileStuart Gellman
Veanne CoxRose Stopnick Gellman
Aisha de HaasThe Moon
Marcus Carl FranklinJoe Thibodeaux
Marva HicksThe Radio
Capathia JenkinsThe Washing Machine
Larry KeithMr. Stopnick
Ramona KellerThe Radio
Alice PlaytenGrandma Gellman
Anika Noni RoseEmmie Thibodeaux
Leon G. Thomas IIIJackie Thibodeaux
Chandra WilsonDotty Moffett

Standby: Sy Adamowsky (Noah Gellman), Shannon Antalan (Emmie Thibodeaux, The Radio), Sue Goodman (Grandma Gellman, Rose Stopnick Gellman), Donald Grody (Grandpa Gellman, Mr. Stopnick), Adam Heller (Stuart Gellman), Vanessa Jones (Dotty Moffett, The Moon, The Radio), Ledisi (The Radio, The Washing Machine), Adriane Lenox (Caroline Thibodeaux), Brandi Chavonne Massey (The Radio), Milton Craig Nealy (The Bus, The Dryer) and Chevon Rutty (Jackie Thibodeaux, Joe Thibodeaux)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2004 Best Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Carole Shorenstein Hays, HBO, Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director), Freddy DeMann, Scott Rudin, Ruth Hendel, Elisabeth Morten, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Jane Bergère, Fox Theatricals, Jennifer Manocherian, Roger Berlind, Clear Channel Entertainment, Joan Cullman, Greg Holland, Scott Nederlander, Margo Lion, Daryl Roth, Frederick Zollo and Jeffrey Sine; Produced in association with The Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival (George C. Wolfe: Producer; Mara Manus: Executive Director)

 2004 Best Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Tony Kushner

 2004 Best Original Score [nominee] 

Music by Jeanine Tesori; Lyrics by Tony Kushner

 2004 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Tonya Pinkins

winner 2004 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Anika Noni Rose

 2004 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

George C. Wolfe

Drama Desk Award

 2004 Outstanding New Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Carole Shorenstein Hays, HBO, Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director), Freddy DeMann, Scott Rudin, Ruth Hendel, Elisabeth Morten, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Fox Theatricals, Jennifer Manocherian, Jane Bergère, Roger Berlind, Clear Channel Entertainment, Joan Cullman, Greg Holland, Scott Nederlander, Margo Lion, Daryl Roth, Frederick Zollo and Jeffrey Sine; Produced in association with The Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival (George C. Wolfe: Producer; Mara Manus: Executive Director)

 2004 Outstanding Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Tony Kushner

 2004 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Tonya Pinkins

 2004 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Anika Noni Rose

 2004 Outstanding Director of a Musical [nominee] 

George C. Wolfe

winner 2004 Outstanding Music [winner] 

Music by Jeanine Tesori

Theatre World

winner 2004 Award [recipient] 

Anika Noni Rose

Songs

music by Jeanine Tesori; lyrics by Tony Kushner

ACT 1 Sung By
16 Feet Beneath the SeaCaroline Thibodeaux and The Washing Machine
The RadioThe Radio
Laundry QuintetThe Radio, Caroline Thibodeaux and The Washing Machine
Noah Down the StairsNoah Gellman
The CigaretteCaroline Thibodeaux, Noah Gellman and The Washing Machine
Laundry FinishThe Radio
The DryerThe Dryer and The Radio
I Got Four KidsCaroline Thibodeaux, The Dryer and The Washing Machine
Caroline, There's Extra FoodRose Stopnick Gellman, Caroline Thibodeaux, Grandma Gellman and Grandpa Gellman
There Is No God, NoahStuart Gellman
Rose Stopnick Can CookGrandma Gellman, Grandpa Gellman, Stuart Gellman and Rose Stopnick Gellman
Long DistanceRose Stopnick Gellman
Dotty and CarolineDotty Moffett, Caroline Thibodeaux and The Moon
Moon Change The Moon
Moon TrioThe Moon, Dotty Moffett and Caroline Thibodeaux
The BusThe Bus
That Can't BeDotty Moffett, Caroline Thibodeaux and The Moon
Noah and RoseNoah Gellman and Rose Stopnick Gellman
Inside/OutsideThe Moon, Noah Gellman and Rose Stopnick Gellman
JFKThe Moon, Noah Gellman and Rose Stopnick Gellman
Duets: No One Waitin'The Radio, Emmie Thibodeaux and Caroline Thibodeaux
Duets:'Night MammaEmmie Thibodeaux
Duets:Gonna Pass Me a LawCaroline Thibodeaux and Noah Gellman
Duets:Noah Go to SleepCaroline Thibodeaux and Noah Gellman
Noah Has a ProblemCaroline Thibodeaux and Rose Stopnick Gellman
Stuart and NoahStuart Gellman, Noah Gellman and Caroline Thibodeaux
Quarter in the Bleach CupNoah Gellman, Caroline Thibodeaux and The Washing Machine
Caroline Take My Money HomeNoah Gellman, Caroline Thibodeaux, Emmie Thibodeaux, Jackie Thibodeaux and Joe Thibodeaux
Roosevelt Petrucius ColeslawNoah Gellman, Emmie Thibodeaux, Jackie Thibodeaux, Joe Thibodeaux and Caroline Thibodeaux
ACT 2 Sung By
Santa Comin' CarolineThe Radio and The Washing Machine
Little RewardThe Washing Machine, Caroline Thibodeaux and The Radio
1943Caroline Thibodeaux, The Radio and The Washing Machine
Mr. Gellman's ShirtRose Stopnick Gellman and Caroline Thibodeaux
Ooh ChildThe Washing Machine and The Radio
Rose RecoversRose Stopnick Gellman, Caroline Thibodeaux and The Dryer
I Saw Three ShipsJackie Thibodeaux, Joe Thibodeaux, Emmie Thibodeaux and Caroline Thibodeaux
The Chanukah PartyStuart Gellman, Noah Gellman, Rose Stopnick Gellman, Grandma Gellman and Grandpa Gellman
Dotty and EmmieDotty Moffett, Emmie Thibodeaux and Caroline Thibodeaux
I Don't Want My Child To Hear ThatCaroline Thibodeaux, Mr. Stopnick, Grandma Gellman and Grandpa Gellman
Mr. Stopnick and EmmieEmmie Thibodeaux, Mr. Stopnick, Caroline Thibodeaux and Rose Stopnick Gellman
Kitchen FightDotty Moffett, Emmie Thibodeaux and Caroline Thibodeaux
A Twenty Dollar Bill and Why?Mr. Stopnick, Rose Stopnick Gellman, Noah Gellman and Grandma Gellman
I Hate the BusEmmie Thibodeaux
Moon, Emmie and Stuart TrioThe Moon, Emmie Thibodeaux, Stuart Gellman and Rose Stopnick Gellman
The Twenty Dollar BillNoah Gellman, Rose Stopnick Gellman, Mr. Stopnick, Grandma Gellman and Grandpa Gellman
Caroline and Noah FightNoah Gellman, Caroline Thibodeaux and The Dryer
AftermathRose Stopnick Gellman, Noah Gellman, Stuart Gellman and Mr. Stopnick
Sunday MorningCaroline Thibodeaux and Dotty Moffett
Lot's WifeCaroline Thibodeaux
Salty TeardropsThe Radio
Why Does Our House Have a BasementNoah Gellman, Rose Stopnick Gellman and The Washing Machine
UnderwaterCaroline Thibodeaux and Noah Gellman
EpilogueThe Moon, Emmie Thibodeaux, Stuart Gellman and Rose Stopnick Gellman

Reviews


AP: "Kushner's 'Caroline' Is Fitfully Realized"

"Caroline, or Change" plays better on Broadway, but it's still a small, message-laden musical filled with big, fitfully realized ambitions.

Author Tony Kushner has more on his mind than just an intimate tale of the uneasy relationship between a black maid and the young son of a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana. The musical possesses a sense of history, much like its author's epic AIDS drama, "Angels in America."

You have to give credit to Kushner, who wrote the book and lyrics, and Jeanine Tesori, who wrote the music, for trying to expand the confines of musical theater with their show, which opened Sunday at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre after a successful off-Broadway run earlier in the season.

Yet the somber, weighty feeling of the old order giving way to the new - prompted here by the beginning of the civil rights movement, the shattering of security after President Kennedy's assassination and the emerging shadow of Vietnam - is a heavy burden for "Caroline" to bear.

It's intertwined with the personal saga of an embittered, middle-age woman, a story that doesn't easily lend itself to song - even with the formidable Tonya Pinkins as the title character. The mixture can, at times, get heavy-handed.

Pinkins portrays a 39-year-old divorcee grappling with the disappointments of the past and a fear of the future. The actress remains a marvel, giving one of those fierce, uncompromising performances that people will talk about for years to come. Pinkins' Caroline Thibodeaux is a complex woman, dressed in a starchy maid's uniform that she sees as defining and limiting her life.

All this unhappiness comes together late in the show's second act when her anger finally explodes. "Don't let my sorrow make evil of me," she sings with heartfelt desperation.

It's one of the few moments in Tesori's eclectic score that allows the audience some release, a full-fledged number that gives them a chance to applaud. Much of music in this mostly sung-through score arrives in fragments, tantalizing bits and pieces that demonstrate the composer's astonishing gift for melody whether the music is rhythm 'n' blues, Jewish folk tunes, Christmas carols, nursery rhymes or even vaguely operatic.

Kushner's book, with an assist from George C. Wolfe's inventive direction, presents Caroline's workaday world in a novel, if slightly precious, way. That drudgery comes alive in the basement of her white employer's home, where the washer, the dryer and a radio (in the form of as a 1960s girl group) come to life.

It's in this basement where Caroline forms a bond with young Noah, played with remarkable ease by Harrison Chad, and it's where their relationship falls apart.

The lad's stepmother (the tremulous, appealing Veanne Cox) tells the maid she can keep any change she finds in the boy's pockets while doing the laundry. At first Caroline resists, but things get serious when she finds $20 and thinks of what she could do with that money for her own children.

Noah, too, is unhappy. Besides the insecure stepmother, he has an emotionally distant father (David Costabile) still grieving about the death of the first wife.

Caroline's children also have their problems, chafing under their mother's tough love. Daughter Emmie, in particular, represents the future, impatient to make those changes that are implied in the show's title. A lovely Anika Noni Rose, who plays Emmie, has a beautiful voice and impeccable diction, which means you can hear every word.

The show looks better in an elegant Broadway theater than in the sterile space where it played at the Public Theater downtown. The domestic settings designed by Riccardo Hernandez are simple but effective. They  stand in contrast to the brief yet exotic appearances by the production's most puzzling character, the moon, artfully sung by Aisha de Haas.

This celestial creature presides over the musical's more tender moments and serves as an other worldly messenger of sorts. "Change come fast and change come slow, but change come, Caroline Thibodeaux," the moon solemnly tells the show's heroine at one point. This sermonizing in song perfectly captures what "Caroline, or Change" is all about.


AP
05/02/2004

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Eugene O'Neill Theatre

(5/2/2004 - 8/29/2004)

Cast

Brandi Chavonne Massey
The Radio


Standbys: Cheryl Alexander (Caroline Thibodeaux), Tanesha Gary (The Radio), John Jellison (Grandpa Gellman, Mr. Stopnick), Corwin Tuggles (Jackie Thibodeaux, Joe Thibodeaux).


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