Caroline, or Change

Rajdulari as the Washing Machine & Mary Louise Lee as Caroline in Aurora Fox Arts Center’s “Caroline, or Change” Photo Credit: Carlos Flores

Maggie Tisdale as Rose in Aurora Fox Arts Center’s “Caroline or Change” Photo Credit: Carlos Flores

Maggie Tisdale as Rose in Aurora Fox Arts Center’s “Caroline or Change” Photo Credit: Carlos Flores

When I first saw Caroline, or Change in New York in 2003 I was absolutely mesmerized.  The show never left me- I thought about it and talked about it for months.  In all honesty, if you know me well I’ve probably talked to you about this show or forced you to listen to it in my car or during dinner. My friend Bob has regularly said over the past ten years, “please God don’t make me listen to that damn show with the singing toaster again!” I did keep making him listen to it... When I saw that the Aurora Fox had put Caroline, or Change in their season, I immediately reached out because I have always wanted to direct it. 

Leonard Barrett Jr. as The Washing Machine, Mary Louise Lee as Caroline, Krisangela Washington, Betty Hart, and Lisa Young as The Radio in Aurora Fox Art Center’s “ Caroline or Change” Photo Credit: Carlos Flores

Leonard Barrett Jr. as The Washing Machine, Mary Louise Lee as Caroline, Krisangela Washington, Betty Hart, and Lisa Young as The Radio in Aurora Fox Art Center’s “Caroline or Change” Photo Credit: Carlos Flores

The mosaic of characters, themes, and musical influences in this show is unlike anything I have seen before or since.  George C. Wolfe, who directed the show on Broadway said, “…this show has more to do with The Glass Menagerie than The Music Man.”  There is a richness and depth to this story that I don’t believe we get from most musicals. In many ways the magical reality of Caroline, or Change feels operatic in scope. The show is not only about how we change as a society and as individuals, but the unique journey we take to reconcile change and acceptance in our lives.  It’s been sixteen years since I first saw this show, and each character’s journey continues to spark conversation and challenge my thoughts about the one constant in all of our lives: change. 

Congrats to the entire Caroline family on 7 Henry Award Nominations!