The Color of Money

His name will be forever modified by the phrase “the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Angels in America,” which certainly is no hardship. But Tony Kushner’s name might as easily be tagged with the parenthetical “(and author of Caroline, or Change),” because this unusual musical is in many ways as moving and vital a work as Kushner’s other achievements.

The title refers to the spare change kept by Caroline Thibodeaux, the African-American housekeeper for a Jewish family in Louisiana in 1963. At the request of her employer, Caroline keeps the coins she finds in 8-year-old Noah’s pants pockets in the hopes that it will teach him the value of money. The resulting family conflict is set to Tony-nominated music and dance.

The Black Theatre Troupe edition currently being staged was directed by the company’s artistic director, David J. Hemphill, with musical direction by John Massaro and choreography by Reggie Kelly. Caroline replaces the troupe’s standard Christmas-themed show without abandoning holiday cheer. The score includes holly-jolly tunes like “Santa Comin’ Caroline” and Yuletide standards like “I Saw Three Ships.”

Thu., Dec. 6, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 3 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 15, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 16, 3 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 20, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 22, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 23, 3 p.m., 2007
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela