Producers Convene to Forward Transfer of Caroline, or Change

News   Producers Convene to Forward Transfer of Caroline, or Change
Some of the most powerful producers in theatre are pooling their resources to ensure the Broadway transfer of Caroline, or Change, the new musical by playwright-librettist Tony Kushner and composer Jeanine Tesori, which opened at the Public Theater on Nov. 30, and has extended its run to Feb. 1.
Tonya Pinkins as the title character in Caroline, or Change
Tonya Pinkins as the title character in Caroline, or Change Photo by Michal Daniel

Though Kushner previously told Playbill On-Line that a transfer is a near certainty, all the financing for the move is still being gathered. According to the New York Post, $5.5 of the $6 million needed has been collected. (Though the New York Times reported the budget as being $5 million.)

Among the parties chipping in, according to printed accounts, are Carole Shorenstein Hays, Scott Rudin, the Frankel, Baruch, Viertel, Routh Group, Fox Theatricals, Freddy De Mann, Daryl Roth, Margo Lion, Roger Berlind, Rocco Landesman and HBO.

The projected theatre is the Eugene O'Neill. Performances would begin in April.

The show opened to mixed reviews, but has won solid audience response and praise for lead actress Tonya Pinkins' strong performance in the title role.

At present, there is no deal to record the score, a Public Theater spokesperson told Playbill On-Line—an unusual circumstance given the high profile of the musical's authors. Composer Tesori told Playbill On-Line that her wish is to have a recording put together around the time of the expected spring commercial move, so as to incorporate some tweaks and refinements she, Kushner and director George C. Wolfe want. The show, which began previews Oct. 29, marks the first collaboration between Tesori and Kushner, as well as Kushner's first musical. George C. Wolfe directs.

The cast also features Chuck Cooper, Veanne Cox, Reathel Bean, Harrison Chad, Tracy Nicole Chapman, David Costabile, Marcus Carl Franklin, Marva Hicks, Capathia Jenkins, Larry Keith, Ramona Keller, Adriane Lenox, Alice Playten, Anika Noni Rose, Kevin Tate and Chandra Wilson.

Caroline is the black maid of the Gellmans, a Southern family, made up of a father, his new wife and the man's young son, Noah. The son's birth mother has recently died, and the stepmother is trying to establish a relationship with the child, who already has a close connection with Caroline. The title has a double meaning, referring to the myriad social changes swirling around the family and a family argument surrounding the spare change perpetually found in the boy's pants pockets.

Caroline, or Change plays the Newman Theatre in The Public complex, 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets are $70.

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