If they can make a musical about Atlantic Yards, why not one about Robert Caro’s mammoth book The Power Broker? The Times brought none other than Caro himself to a rehearsal for the new musical about Robert Moses, a show that sounds like a real hit:
Roads blast through;
Triborough, Whitestone, Throgs Neck, Verrazano;
Northern State, Southern State, Saw Mill, Henry Hudson;
Jones Beach, Riverside Park.
To be sure, the musical is considerably less comprehensive than Mr. Caro’s 1,286-page 1974 book, “The Power Broker,” which follows Moses’ career as city parks commissioner and chairman of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. “Robert Moses Astride New York” moves through major chapters of history in just a few stanzas, and the piece to be performed Saturday is only a sampling of what the composer, Gary Fagin, ultimately hopes will become a full-fledged production featuring additional characters like the neighborhood activist Jane Jacobs and Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia.
There was some editing, though, as Fagin apparently took a line from Moses literally and wrote the lyric, “Childless women howling about your nonexistent children.” Caro, who has no direct involvement with the project, protested that it came off as true. Fagin demured: “He was absolutely right.”
So the old saying still goes–everyone’s a critic! To decide for yourself, there is, for now, a one-night performance, which is free and scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday in the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden.