Caroline, or Change: Abridged

                  CAROLINE, OR CHANGE: A "Broadway Abridged" Script
                             (A.K.A "Caroline or Crack")
                                                            By Gil Varod





            SCENE: LAUNDRY ROOM.

                                   CAROLINE
            Hello, and welcome to "Low Concept" theatre, where we show
            you musicals during which nothing actually happens.  I'm
            Caroline, a black woman in 1963 Louisiana, and a housekeeper
            for a Jewish Family.  My life is full of such woe, the washer
            and dryer are my only friends.  In fact, let's
            Anthropomorphize them and have them sing!

                                   Enter a Large Black Woman and a 
                                   Man Who Looks Like A Pimp.

                                   LARGE BLACK WOMAN
            I am the washing machine!  And wow is it hot in this
            basement!

                                   MAN WHO LOOKS LIKE A PIMP
            And I am the dryer!  And oh is your life full of woe.

                                   CAROLINE
            Gee, Greek Choruses are fun!  What happens when I turn on the
            radio?

                                   She does.  Silence.

                                   CAROLINE
            I said, "what happens when I turn on the radio?"

                                   Silence again.

                                   CAROLINE
            I SAID, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I--

                                   THREE SUPREME-LIKE FEMALES
                          (entering)
            Hey, sorry about that.  We're doing triple duty; we had to
            rush over from the Virginia Theatre to do scene one from
            Little Shop of Horrors.

                                   CAROLINE
            Well, Radio, can you sing a song for me?

                                   THREE SUPREME-LIKE FEMALES
            Sure.  
                          (Sings:)
            AIN'T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING BABY,
            AIN'T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL TH--

                                   A watch alarm beeps.

                                   THREE SUPREME-LIKE FEMALES
            Oh, sorry about that.  We need to rush over to the Neil Simon
            Theatre, turns out we're in the third scene of Hairspray.

                                   The set closes in.  Caroline stands out
                                   in a field of black as she sings:

                                   CAROLINE
            WHOA IS MY LIFE FULL OF WOE!





            SCENE: LIVING ROOM OF THE JEWISH FAMILY.

                                   Enter SON and FATHER.

                                   FATHER
            Son, I am so sad since your mother died.  But it's okay, I've
            taken on this Trophy Wife!

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            Wow, my mother died and I have to get used to a new mother. 
            What a unique and new situation to be dramatized.  I wonder
            if I'll take a liking to her!

                                   FATHER
            Well, I'm still depressed about your dead mom.  So I think
            I'll hide myself in the clarinet.

                                   He DOES.

                                   Enter TROPHY WIFE/STEPMOTHER.

                                   STEPMOTHER
            Now son, because your father's busy upstairs playing the
            clarinet and not really developing as a character, I'll have
            to be the dominant parent around here.  For starters, I think
            you have to start being a bit more careful about your
            finances.  For example...
                          (pulls out questionable
                           substance)
            I found this crack in your pants pocket.

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            Stepmom, I can explain.  I was holding it for somebod--

                                   STEPMOTHER
            How much did this crack cost you?  Huh?

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            It cost... uh...

                                   STEPMOTHER
            HOW MUCH?

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            It cost $8.

                                   STEPMOTHER
            Eight dollars.  You almost threw away eight dollars here in
            1963!  

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            It really wasn't mine, I swe--

                                   STEPMOTHER
            Well here's the deal.  From now on, if you leave anything in
            your pocket, our maid Caroline gets to keep it.

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            ...what?

                                   STEPMOTHER
            That'll teach you to be more careful with your narcotics.

                                   The set closes in.  Stepmother stands
                                   out in a field of black as she sings:

                                   STEPMOTHER
            IF ONLY I COULD GET HIM 
            TO THINK OF ME
            AS MOTHER...





            SCENE: LAUNDRY ROOM.

                                   CAROLINE
            What did you say?

                                   STEPMOTHER
            I said, every time our son leaves crack in his pants pockets,
            you can keep it.  Think of it as a raise.

                                   Stepmother leaves.

                                   CAROLINE
            That's f***ed up.

                                   The set closes in.  Caroline stands out
                                   in a field of black as she sings:

                                   CAROLINE
            THAT'S SO INTENSELY F***ED UP....





            SCENE: BUS STOP.

                                   Caroline sits with DOTTY MOFFETT.

                                   CAROLINE
            So I don't know what to do.  On one hand, that's good crack I
            can sell to give my kids a better life.  On the other hand, I
            can't take crack from a child!  That's demeaning!

                                   DOTTY MOFFETT
            ...

                                   CAROLINE
            Hello?  Dotty Moffett?

                                   DOTTY MOFFETT
            Sorry... just trying to figure out what the point of my
            character is in this musical.

                                   LARGE BLACK WOMAN
            MOON CHANGE!

                                   DOTTY MOFFETT
            Whoa, what was that?

                                   LARGE BLACK WOMAN
            MOON CHANGE!

                                   CAROLINE
            It's just the moon.  They anthropomorphized the moon too. 

                                   LARGE BLACK WOMAN
            MOON CHANGE!  Oh, by the way, I'm a different large black
            woman than the one who played the washer.  You won't be able
            to tell the parts weren't double-cast until the curtain call.

                                   DOTTY MOFFETT
            What's the point of the moon, Caroline?

                                   CAROLINE
            I'm not really sure... apparently Tony Kushner felt that we
            needed to add another "thing" that talks.

                                   LARGE BLACK WOMAN
            MOON CHANGE!  MOON CHANGE!  MOON CHANGE!

                                   DOTTY MOFFETT
            Is that all she's here for, to say "moon change"?

                                   CAROLINE
            Guess so... well, as long as after the Moon we don't
            anthropomorphize yet another thing just for the sake of
            anthropo--

                                   Enter a man with a steering wheel.

                                   MAN WITH STEERING WHEEL
            I am the Bus.  And I am here to note that I just heard JFK is
            dead.  

                                   DOTTY MOFFETT
            Oooh, a historical reference, that creates credibility!

                                   CAROLINE
            Odd how it doesn't affect out lives.  Because it should have
            done more than that since the subject is full of a lot of
            pain and bitter.

                                   The set closes in.  Man With Steering
                                   Wheel stands out in a field of black as
                                   he sings:

                                   MAN WITH STEERING WHEEL
            I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M PLAYING AN ANTHROPOMORPHIC CHARACTER ON
            BROADWAY...





            SCENE: CAROLINE'S HOUSE.

                                   CAROLINE
            Here children, here's spending money.

                                   CAROLINE'S YOUNG BOYS WHO
                                   ARE BETTER ACTORS THAN THE
                                   ANNOYING WHITE BOY
            Wow Mom, where ever did you get it?

                                   CAROLINE
            I'm not telling you, but in case anybody asks it was not by
            selling crack found in the young white boy's pants pocket.

                                   CAROLINE'S DAUGHTER
            Hey mom, did you hear?  Some kids broke that statue of the
            southern Civil War hero and stole its head!

                                   CAROLINE
            Oh boy, the tacked-on authentication of time period just
            keeps coming, doesn't it.





            INTERMISSION.

                                   AUDIENCE
            So... in Act Two... something has to *happen*... right?

                                   Silence.

                                   AUDIENCE
            RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?





            SCENE: LAUNDRY ROOM.

                                   CAROLINE
            Oh, whoa is me, I still must do laundry.

                                   THREE SUPREME-LIKE FEMALES
                          (singing)
            AND AS YOU WASH, WE GO BACK INTO MEMORIES...

                                   CAROLINE
                          (singing)
            ALAS I AM POOR,
            ALAS I AM IN WOE,
            I REMEMBER HAVING A HUSBAND
            I REMEMBER THE DAY HE LEFT ME
            I REMEMBER THINKING HE WOULD RETURN
            I REMEMBER---
                          (speaking)
            Hey, wait a minute... why am I talking about this?  This
            seems so irrelevant this late in the show.

                                   Enter Tony Kusher, the playwright for
                                   "Angels in America" guy who also
                                   wrote... uh... "Angels in America Part
                                   Two".

                                   LIBRETTO-WRITER TONY KUSHNER
            Don't worry about making sense.  I think the rich white
            audience feels alienated anyway hearing a story about a poor
            black woman.

                                   CAROLINE
            So what are you going to do about it?

                                   LIBRETTO-WRITER TONY KUSHNER
            What any sane person would do to get a Broadway audience
            interested in a play.  Make it more Jewish!





            SCENE: LIVING ROOM OF THE JEWISH FAMILY.

                                   Annoying White Kid, Father, Stepmom and
                                   MISTER STOPNICK are having a Hanukkah
                                   Party.

                                   ALL WHITE CHARACTERS ONSTAGE
                          (singing)
            WE'RE SPINNING THE DREIDELS
            AND DANCING THE HORA
            AND CELEBRATING HANUKKAH
            THOUGH IT'S NOT IN THE TORAH...

                                   AUDIENCE
            Not sure what this has to do with a black woman's sorrows.

                                   FATHER
            Hey, look at me, I can play the clarinet!

                                   He does, but doesn't even move his
                                   fingers while "playing" it.

                                   MISTER STOPNICK
            Listen boy, I thought I should give you a nice present for
            Hanukkah.

                                   He hands a small box to the boy, who
                                   opens it up.

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            Wow, it's a set of keys to a Cadillac--

                                   MISTER STOPNICK
            --with another couple hundred pounds of crack stored in its
            bumper!  Now you take care to not lose those keys, because
            whoever owns the keys owns the car and the crack!

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            Wow, thanks random-character-who-was-in-one-scene-total!





            SCENE: CLASSROOM

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            Boy, I can't wait till I get home to drive around in my car
            and deal all of that crack!  Let me just get out my keys--

                                   Reaches in pocket.

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            Uh-oh.





            SCENE: LAUNDRY ROOM.

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            Give me back my keys!

                                   CAROLINE
            No!

                                   REALLY ANNOYING WHITE KID
            I said give me back my keys!

                                   CAROLINE
            Okay.

                                   She hands back the keys to him.

                                   CAROLINE
            I quit.

                                   The set closes in.  Caroline stands out
                                   in a field of black as she sings a
                                   long, "Rose's Turn" style solo.  It is
                                   sung beautifully.





            SCENE: CURTAIN CALL.

                                   Out comes the entire 18-person cast,
                                   which seems like just a bit much for a
                                   musical which only had five real
                                   characters.

                                   LIBRETTO-WRITER TONY KUSHNER
                          (to audience)
            So now that you've seen my first real musical, what did you
            think?

                                   AUDIENCE
            Well, now that's the musical's over--

                                   LIBRETTO-WRITER TONY KUSHNER
            Yeah?

                                   AUDIENCE
            What particularly made you decide that this should be a
            musical instead of a play?  Because it doesn't necessarily
            seem to scream out any need for musicalization.

                                   CAROLINE'S DAUGHTER
                          (interrupting)
            Hey, don't you wonder what really happened to that statue of
            the Southern Civil War Hero?

                                   AUDIENCE
            Not really.

                                   CAROLINE'S DAUGHTER
            Turns out my friends and I were really the ones wh--
            Oh... okay then... uh... sorry to bother.

                                   Caroline's daughter leaves.  

                                   BLACKOUT.

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