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Really appreciate you taking the time to express all of this
Last Edit: GrumpyMorningBoy 09:48 am EDT 08/22/19
Posted by: GrumpyMorningBoy 09:47 am EDT 08/22/19
In reply to: re: I think Ms. Jefferson has a very valid point about one weak spot in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE - Chazwaza 11:59 am EDT 08/21/19

I'm ALWAYS happy to engage with people on CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, precisely because the writing is so ambitious that it invites strong opinions. I think you've made an excellent case here about why the show moves you as much as it does.

And thanks for taking so much time to put those thoughts into digital ink. You know the show far better than I. I do need to agree with you about doubts about whether Emmie's final monologue goes on too long; it does feel that way in the cast recording. But in the theater, I remember feeling that I really needed that time to absorb and process what the writers had just done, and it didn't feel too long at all in the theater. Still, if I were to stage it, I'd probably fill those final moments with some movement / shifting tableaus or some lovely scenery reveal or something. I digress.

I DO think it's fair to say that the show's overall reputation, at least during the Broadway run, was that it did not have the kind of broad appeal that could garner a long financially successful run. Word on the street was that it was artsy and high-minded, which certainly put off any number of potential ticket buyers, but that some people LOVED it. But only some. I think it's fair to say that the reaction was a bit polarizing. Among my theater friends, some people loved it, others were a bit meh. A few hated it completely.

And so, in my attempt above to try to understand why some people find it less than galvanizing, I'll stick to my guns about the particularly low-grade curve of Caroline's character arc. I do think that's the main culprit, not the singing washing machine.

Listen, I'll GLADLY hand it to them that it is brave / creative / ambitious to write this kind of story shape. (I borrow from Kurt Vonnegut's terrific "Shapes of Stories," linked below). And I'll take an ambitious musical any day over a lazy one.

To me, the proudest accomplishment of this show is the way that it very incisively dives into the unique story of black servitude in the American south. The story articulates that central tension of reliance and resentment which other works like "The Help" completely fail to observe.

- GMB
Link Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories
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