Among American planners and builders, Robert Moses is a towering figure. In much of the early 20th century, Moses exerted a tremendous amount of power in the New York City region and had some impressive achievements. What better way to honor him than to turn his life into a musical?
This Saturday the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra is offered a sneak peak of “Robert Moses Astride New York,” a musical about New York’s infamous infrastructure czar. In honor of the event a reporter from the New York Times watched a recent rehearsal in the company of Robert Caro, author of the Pulitzer-winning and iconic biography of Moses, The Power Broker. Caro, it appears, enjoyed the performance:
Mr. Caro said he was particularly pleased by the musical’s last section, which recalls Moses’ dedication of a bench in Flushing Meadows, one of the parks he’d built. It is the poignant scene that concludes “The Power Broker,” in which Moses wonders why he wasn’t sufficiently appreciated.
Turning infrastructure into song. I would be curious to read the lyrics to the other songs to see how Moses, a polarizing figure, is portrayed.
How many people outside of New York City are aware of the legacy of Robert Moses?