I was always obsessed with musical theatre, and in 2004 I could finally travel alone to NYC whenever I wanted/whenever my college schedule allowed and see Broadway shows more often. It was a big year – that was the year of ‘Wicked’, ‘Avenue Q’, ‘The Boy From Oz’, Alfred Molina’s ‘Fiddler’, Donna Murphy’s ‘Wonderful Town’, Audra in ‘Raisin in the Sun’. Such a busy season! I got to see Idina in ‘Wicked’, but another new show with a supposedly killer leading lady role slipped under my radar. That was ‘Caroline, or Change’, starring Tonya Pinkins as Caroline, a Tony-winning Anika Noni Rose as her daughter Emmie, and a score by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner. It seemed pretty beloved, an interesting civil rights-age drama taking place in Louisiana, about a black maid working for a Jewish family but also with singing electrical appliances. How did that work, I wondered? It remained high on my list of shows I wanted to see someday, and so when the current English revival moved closer to the West End – to the Hampstead Theatre up north of the city – I did a little jig and said halleluyer, because I would finally see it.
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