Caroline, or Change Begins Previews at London’s National Theatre Oct. 11

News   Caroline, or Change Begins Previews at London’s National Theatre Oct. 11 The Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori musical Caroline, or Change begins previews on the National Theatre’s Lyttelton stage Oct. 11. The musical will officially opens Oct. 19.
Tonya Pinkins in the Broadway production of Caroline, or Change
Tonya Pinkins in the Broadway production of Caroline, or Change

George. C Wolfe’s production stars Tonya Pinkins, who created the role in the original Off-Broadway production, which divided the critics, but went on to receive six Tony nominations, winning Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Anika Noni Rose.

With book and lyrics by the Tony and Pulitzer-winning Kushner (Angels in America, Homebody Kabul) and music by Tony Award winner Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Caroline, or Change is set in Louisiana 1963 and follows the friendship between a black maid and the Jewish son of her employers.

Speaking to Playbill.com in London, Kushner confirmed that he’s currently working on a screenplay about Eugene O’Neill. "I'm also working on a big, new gay play," said Kushner. “It’s been a long time since I’ve written about gay issues,” he said, referring to Angels. "I guess I feel that corners have been turned for me personally and also for the (gay) community and we’re in a different, though unfortunately, not improved era.”

Asked about the New York Theatre Workshop’s cancellation of the controversial play My Name Is Rachel Corrie, which is about to recieve its New York premiere at Off-Bropadway’s Minetta Lane Theatre on Oct. 15, Kushner said, “I think it was appalling what happened. They behaved terribly in making the decision in the first place and even worse, once they made the mistake by not saying 'We made a mistake.'"

Kushner added, “This [NYTW is] a great theatre, and Jimmy Nicola who runs it is a great producer and enormously brave. We did Homebody/Kabul a month after 9/11 and he didn’t hesitate for a second about to it. [The Rachel Corrie play] is uncharacteristic of him, and I think what he and they should have done is say, 'We got panicked and freaked out and we’re really sorry and we will do the play if they let us have it back and if they won’t, we apologize.'" The cast of the London version of Caroline, or Change also includes Clive Rowe, who won an Olivier for his portrayal of Nicely Nicely in the National’s 1996 production of Guys and Dolls. Rowe’s other stage credits include Simply Heavenly and Company. Some of the characters in the show are not human, with Rowe taking on the roles of the Bus and the Dryer. Also in the London cast are Angela M. Caesar as the Moon, Malinda Parris as the Washing Machine and Nataylia Roni as the Radio.

For more information on Caroline, or Change, call (0)7452 3400.

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