When we visited New York in the spring of 2004, we stopped at the half-price ticket booth for Broadway tickets. And, as we often do, we asked TKTS staff for recommendations on what to see. The show that everyone raved about was Caroline or Change, the musical composed by Tony Kushner, who also wrote Angels in America.
Caroline or Change was one of the most moving and thought-provoking musicals I’ve seen. Caroline works as a housekeeper for a middle class family living near New Orleans in the early 1960s. Eight-year-old Noah, whose mother died of cancer, admires Caroline and wishes he could live with her family. Because they can’t afford to give her a raise, Noah’s stepmother tells her she can keep the money Noah leaves in his pockets when she does the laundry, to remind him to be more careful. She hates taking money from a child, but needs it for her own family. Noah starts leaving money there on purpose to help her out, but when he accidentally leaves a $20 gift from his grandfather, it causes a rift between them.
The change in the show title refers not just to his pocket money, but also to the changes taking place in society at the time. The birth of the civil rights’ movement, the assassination of JFK, and her daughter’s insistence that she find a less demeaning job all weigh heavily on Caroline’s mind.
“Thirty dollars every week.
And I am mean and I am tough, but –
Thirty dollars ain’t enough.”
– “I Got Four Kids”, from Caroline or Change
As always, the TKTS recommendation was perfect. We loved this show.
Hunting for a recipe that represented New Orleans, I knew I wouldn’t find a better Mardi Gras recipe than these pancakes from the city’s best-known farmers’ market. You can’t beat pancakes with maple syrup, but they were also wonderful served with a lemon sauce.
1 cup blueberries