Tony Kushner's "Caroline, or Change" Coming Soon

Monday, October 06, 2003

Lead: A new musical with story and book by Tony Kushner called "Caroline, or Change" opens later in the month. It's the first time that Kushner has worked with director George C Wolfe since "Angels in America." WNYC's Judith Kampfner snuck along to the Public Theater to watch a rehearsal.

Kampfner: Tony Kushner jokes that much of his first musical is misremembered. Like the young Jewish boy in his story, he did live in Lake Charles, Louisiana and like him, he was eight years old when President Kennedy died. And he did learn about politics, economic struggle, and music from his black maid, who in his play is called Caroline Thibodeau.

Caroline: Thibodeau. I wear white hose, my knees aren't on display. I wears a white dress, they like their maids that way. Don't want them dressed for play

Kushner: I was and am very fond of her, although she wasn't a warm...
Kampfner: Is she still alive?
Kushner: Oh yes very much so. She's going to come and see the show and she's read it and it's dedicated to her, actually. We didn't have a warm relationship when I was a boy but I very have strong memories.

Noah: Wish me good night
Caroline: That not my job.
Noah: How come? Why are you so sad all the time?
Caroline: That ain't your business; you are a nosy child. How come you like me?

Kampfner: The world of 1963 is a rapidly changing one and we see it through the eyes of Caroline and the boy Noah. The director of "Caroline, or Change" - George C Wolfe:

Wolfe: I have a nickname for it I call it southern black Jewish magic realism. Chagall meets Romare Bearden on the way to a deeply intimate story.

Kampfner: Previews at the Public Theater start on Oct 28th. For WNYC I'm Judith Kampfner.

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