Master builder Robert Moses will be the subject of a new rock musical set for a limited engagement beginning next month.
“Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses” will begin previews Nov. 25 at the Theatre at St. Clement’s, on W. 46th Street in Manhattan. Starring former “American Idol” contestant Constantine Maroulis (Broadway’s “Rock of Ages” and “Jekyll & Hyde”) as the powerful and controversial urban planner, it opens Dec. 7 for a run ending Jan. 7. Karen Carpenter (the Off-Broadway hit “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”) directs.
The production marks the New York theater debut of singer-songwriter Peter Galperin, who wrote the music and lyrics and, with theater director-producer Daniel Scot Kadin (the cabaret comedy “The Color F”), co-wrote the musical’s book.
Moses’ outsized influence as the head of numerous city and state agencies resulted in urban development ranging from more than 600 playgrounds to such monumental projects as Lincoln Center, Co-op City, the West Side Highway, major bridges and tunnels, two World’s Fairs and over a dozen Long Island parks, including Jones Beach, and the parkways connecting them. Yet his documented racism and his eviction of 250,000 mostly poor and minority people to make way for his highways continue to reverberate. He died in 1981 in West Islip, at age 92.
The musical “charts the rise and fall of one man, the young woman who loved him, and the great human toll that was paid to build the city we live in today,” said producers Bulldozer Partners and Aaron Grant Theatrical in a statement.
Also starring are Ryan Knowles, Kacie Sheik, Wayne Wilcox as Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and Molly Pope as author and social activist Jane Jacobs.