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'Caroline, or Change' review or 'You learn to lose things.'

Caroline, or Change, Tony Kushner/Jeanine Tesori Hampstead Theatre, 20th March 2018 Written for Exeunt 

Here is a musical that will not settle; a musical that strives for change but worries deeply about how that change might come about. Here’s a musical that cherishes the past, tradition and family, but also urges us to forget the past, even forget our family, if we are to have any hope of moving forward. Here is a musical that loves music: jazz, blues, classical, klezmer, pop, whatever works best in the moment. Here is – you lucky, lucky people – Caroline, or Change. How best to describe this singular work? It’s a musical, an opera, and has even been coined a thopera – let’s just call it a stunning tapestry of sound. The entire story is sung through, with a book by Tony Kushner (his lyrics are pared back but super smart) and a rich and roaming score from Jeanine Tesori, breathlessly variable yet brilliantly self-contained. It’s a musical that never stops moving, as if the music itself is…

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