Published on March 7th, 2016 | by Dig Omaha


Caroline, or Change delves into racial divide in early 60s

"Caroline, or Change" is a powerful, sung-through musical set in Lake Charles, La., during the American civil rights movement. Caroline, an African-American maid, works in the Gellman home for a meager wage. Rose Gellman enlists Caroline’s help in teaching her stepson, Noah, the value of money by allowing Caroline to keep any change he leaves in his pockets. Caroline is faced with the dilemma of taking money from a child in order to provide for her own children. Against a background of the death of JFK, the Vietnam war, and the non-violent direct action protests organized by Martin Luther King, the tide of change continues to define Caroline's place in history, a working mother, bearing up under a broken marriage, economic hardship, and racial inequality. As these large-scale social changes in the country take hold, her teenage daughter shows her that change can set her free. Soaring ballads along with unforgettable characters make this a can’t-miss musical directed by Susie Collins. The show does contain adult themes, and therefore viewer discretion is advised. The performance was nominated for a Tony Award in 2004, and won the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The show runs thorugh March 20 at the Howard Drew Theatre. Check the Omaha Community Playhouse website for showtimes.

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