Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  Caroline, Or Change at The Den Theatre

Caroline, Or Change

The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE is set in Lake Charles, Louisiana: the end of 1963. America is changing. Caroline Thibodeaux is a mother of four and a maid, working for the southern Jewish Gellman family. Caroline struggles with changes monumental and mundane, and her relationship with the young, grieving boy who lives in the house she cleans. Riveting, moving and awe-inspiring, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE features a virtuosic score by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Violet) and a breathtaking book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America), the music ranges from Motown to Klezmer, the storytelling from political to magical.

Presented by Firebrand Theatre & TimeLine Theatre

Thru - Nov 11, 2018

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Price: $45

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-697-3830

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

  Caroline, Or Change Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...The young performers in Brown's cast cut through those unseen walls, of course, and they're all terrific, especially Bre Jacobs, a big talent. You'll be intrigued by the voice of Micheal Lovette, who plays both a bus and a dryer and makes them live. Robertson dives hard into Rose, the well-meaning white woman who just makes everything worse, and, better yet, she's unafraid of her character's dysfunctional understanding of her own power. Some of the smaller Gellman roles feel overplayed, which is too easy a choice, but there is warmth to Schwart, although I never felt close enough to see into his eyes."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...A background plot in the masterful Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical "Caroline, or Change" - receiving an intimate, stirring production by Firebrand Theatre in partnership with TimeLine Theatre - involves the secret removal of a Confederate statue. In prior productions, such as the sterling Court Theatre mounting with E. Faye Butler as Caroline in 2008, this seemed mostly just one more historical reference in a story, set in 1963 Louisiana, filled with them. But given contemporary political events, this narrative component jumps out now."
Read Full Review

Steven Oxman

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Caroline, or Change, with music by Jeanine Tesori and book by Tony Kushner, revels in tension, juxtaposing racial inequality with domestic unhappiness. Firebrand's production, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, is graced all-around with fearless, fantastic singers. Bre Jacobs turns in an especially strong performance as Caroline's eldest daughter, Emmie, who has all the impetuousness and petulance of a young girl eager for the change her mother has spent her life accepting can't and won't happen."
Read Full Review

Irene Hsiao

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...In the hands of a superb cast and a knockout offstage band (led by Andra Velis Simon), Tesori's elastic, multi-hyphenate score leaps from playful to profound to haunting to hilarious with an abandon matched only by its precision. Three performers must be singled out in addition to those already mentioned: Bre Jacobs, a young actor to watch, as Caroline's strong-willed and free-spirited daughter, Emmie; Michael Kingston as Rose's bombastically Marxist, thank-God-he-didn't-have-Twitter father; and Nicole Michelle Haskins in a brash, vibrant turn as as Dottie, Caroline's fellow maid and sort-of friend."
Read Full Review

Alex Huntsberger

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...For the first production of their sophomore season, Firebrand Theatre has partnered with TimeLine Theatre Company to present the musical “Caroline, or Change.” With music by Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home” and “Violet”) and a book and lyrics by Tony Kushner this through-composed musical spans the final two months of 1963 and is set in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The entire cast, under the direction of the very busy and in-demand Lili-Anne Brown, deliver a very solid and moving show."
Read Full Review

Jeffrey Leibham

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Under Firebrand artistic director Harmony France and director Lili-Anne Brown, this “Caroline, or Change” is an exceptionally skillful, seamless, and enjoyable production of a work by two theatrical giants, Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner. Beyond skillful, the work of this team is deeply felt and empathetic, all of its technique and heart coming together to tell a story that is elusive, particularly in musical theater."
Read Full Review

Erin Shea Brady

WTTW - Highly Recommended

"...Tesori’s score is a radiant, often blistering blend of soulful anthems, bluesy self-discovery songs, playful imaginary riffs, impassioned conversations between women waiting for a bus, between mother and daughter, between a woman and her God, and more."
Read Full Review

Hedy Weiss

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Every so often there comes along a special show that informs audiences that here is a new theatre company that should be taken seriously. It began last year, with Firebrand’s eye-popping, jaw-dropping premiere production of “Lizzie.” Now, continuing into their second season, this company is showing Chicago that their first production wasn’t just a fluke. With this unique, exciting, inspirational musical, partnered with TimeLine Theatre, gorgeously directed with confidence by Lili-Anne Brown, and supported by a terrific cast and artistic team, “Caroline, or Change” is one of the Fall Theatre season’s must-see musicals."
Read Full Review

Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...CAROLINE, OR CHANGE has it all: writing, directing, acting, singing, dancing, drama, comedy, reality, fantasy. It is sensational! The only thing I would change is the theatre’s acoustics. In many songs sung by multiple performers, the words were hard to understand. And on opening night, sweet young Sims’ microphone wasn’t working correctly. Still, this show is thought-provoking and up-lifting. I highly recommend making plans or changing plans and seeing this production."
Read Full Review

Katy Walsh

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended

"...Above all, Caroline or Change is a story of strong women fighting for the right to thrive, not just survive. It's in line with Firebrand Theatre's mission. As the world's first feminist equity musical theatre company, Firebrand is committed to producing shows featuring strong women, produced and designed by strong women behind the scenes."
Read Full Review

Jane Recker

Chicago Theater and Arts - Highly Recommended

"...If you are unfamiliar with this play I suggest you definitely put it on your "must see" list. And I will venture to say, that you are not going to get a much better chance than this Firebrand Theatre presentation of "Caroline, or Change.""
Read Full Review

Jodie Jacobs

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...It isn't often that you see a musical in which the main character scowls for pretty much the whole show, but in Caroline, or Change, the title character has plenty to scowl about. Played by Rashada Dawan in a transcendent performance, Caroline is a divorced maid in 1963 Lake Charles, LA, trying to feed a family of four kids on her meager $30/week after breaking off her relationship with an abusive husband. Her best friend is trying to move on from the service life by taking college classes at night, but Caroline is stuck in a dead-end job with only daydreams of a relationship with Nat King Cole to sustain her."
Read Full Review

Karen Topham

PicksInSix - Highly Recommended

"...Change for Caroline Thibodeaux isn’t easy, but change is coming. The wage she earns for the long hours doing laundry barely allows her to put food on the table for her three kids at home. She spends her days working underground between the washer, the dryer and the radio, and her nights in the shadow of the moon, dreaming of a better place. A fearless, central performance by Rashada Dawan makes Firebrand Theatre’s pulsating new production of the Tony Kushner/Jeanine Tesori musical “Caroline, or Change” a stunning work of art!"
Read Full Review

Ed Tracy

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...This is one of those musicals that feels more like an opera (score by Jeanine Tesori) and where you find yourself almost gasping at the brilliant performances one after another. On opening night there was in fact an audible "aww..." when adorable Lyric K. Sims who plays Caroline's youngest child comes on stage. She and her two sibling characters-Emmie played by Bre Jacobs and Jackie played by Princess Isis Z. Lang- sing and dance with style, and especially with Medina in "Roosevelt Petrucius Coleslaw", a song which serves as somewhat of a pressure relief valve on the play's mounting tensions."
Read Full Review

Amy Munice

  Caroline, Or Change Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter