Kushner's autobiographical drama with music by Jeanine Tesori had a 14-week sold-out limited engagement at the Public Theater, but the Pulitzer prize-winner was determined to present it to a larger audience from the very start. So he rounded up 20 producers to get the $5 million it cost to bring the show to Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theater.
"When a play or, more so, a musical gets to Broadway, it is looked at and discussed in an important way," Kushner said in a recent New York Times interview. "I think we all felt 'Caroline' needed to be seen in that way. So I was on the phone a lot."
Kushner said he began calling potential investors as soon as the musical, which deals with a black housekeeper in a white southern household in the 1960s, opened to favorable reviews. The performance of Tonya Pinkins as the housekeeper came in for special praise, and she will also be starred in the Broadway production.