Theater: Not Just Pocket Change

Tony Kushner's new musical about race relations in 1963 wants to make history. And it almost does

Is it possible for a musical to be really about something--to grapple with serious issues of race and class, childhood loss and adult guilt--and not feel like homework? That's the question raised by Caroline, or Change, the most ambitious new musical of New York City's rather dull theater season. Written by Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and partly based on his own childhood, the show is set in Louisiana in 1963 and focuses on the relationship between a black maid and the liberal Jewish family that employs her. At a time when musicals seem to be groping for ways to move...

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