The Broadway revival of Caroline, or Change is now open, and the critics appreciate the return of this musical theatre masterpiece by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori, as much for the quality of the production as for how it speaks to our current cultural moment. Director Michael Longhurst has carved out his own compelling vision for the production, but the real star – as it should be – is Sharon D Clarke in a nuanced, captivating turn as Caroline. The words “vital” and “necessary” may sometimes be thrown around in Broadway marketing too casually, but in the case of Caroline, or Change, they’re right on the money.
New York Times Review of Caroline, or Change
An electrifying revival of the 2003 musical, featuring a titanic performance by Sharon D Clarke, follows the money to the source of American inequality. … [T]he world around “Caroline” has changed in ways that make it seem more prescient, more painful and — despite a performance of tragic grandeur in the title role by Sharon D Clarke — more hopeful now than it did back then. … The chance to believe in change is her hard-won bequest to [her children] — and, in this devastating, uncomfortable, crucial musical, to us.
TimeOut Review of Caroline, or Change
How often does a musical actually change your life? The deeply beautiful Caroline, or Change has that power, if you let its spirit move you. … Clarke’s grounded, moving performance provides much-needed ballast to a production that, in other regards, is often frustratingly in its own way. The cast sings gloriously, but British director Michael Longhurst—perhaps worried that audiences will get bored, or beholden to some notion of what Broadway musicals should look and sound like—pushes nearly everything and everyone too hard. … Make no mistake: Caroline, or Change is a masterwork, even in its altered frame. It should be experienced by everyone—and for all the things I might change about this version, I can’t wait to see it again.
Deadline Review of Caroline, or Change
[T]his tour de force by Tony Kushner (book and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music) has only grown in power and immediacy in the 17 years since its last Broadway production. … [T]he Roundabout Theatre Company production of Caroline, Or Change places itself squarely at the forefront of the best in culture this city has to offer. Directed by Michael Longhurst with intensity and sensitivity, and performed by a cast that seems to have made a pact to sustain itself at the towering heights achieved early and unfailingly by its mighty star Sharon D Clarke, this Caroline, Or Change is a hurricane wind unleashed on decrepit legacies and newfound cautions.
Variety Review of Caroline, or Change
The musical “Caroline, or Change” is back on Broadway for the first time since its captivating original production closed in 2004. The best theater revivals highlight the relevance of classic works for new audiences, and the Roundabout Theatre Company’s new production of the beloved Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori musical is certainly timely. It’s also necessary. … [T]here is an important musical revival on Broadway that is deeply meaningful, crucial to experience and definitely a necessary change.