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Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses

Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Clever, Relevant, Great staging

About the show

This new rock musical dramatizes master builder Robert Moses’s evolution from a young idealist to a power-insulated enemy of the people. Starring Constantine Maroulis ('Rock of Ages') as Robert Moses.

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Seemingly impervious, Moses bulldozes without consequence on the road to complete his vision for the city. A staggering story of fantastic accomplishment and personal defeat intertwining intimate themes of love and loss with the great social issues that gripped the 20th century urban environment, 'Bulldozer' 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.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"A pared-to-the-bone show with an undistinguished score, no pulsing human vitality, and no dramatic tension...Its inertness is not the fault of the five-person cast...A large problem is that Galperin and Kadin, who collaborated on the book, haven’t given the actors fully drawn characters or relationships to play...The draw of a musical about him is not so much what he did but who he was — a complex, enduringly controversial character...Put that onstage and you’d have yourself a show." Full Review

Time Out New York

"A factually vague journey through the urban planner’s controversial career. This earnest and disappointing musical biography flattens its fascinating subject. Constantine Maroulis wails impressively through Peter Galperin’s musically interchangeable and lyrically repetitive rock songs, but his performance in the title role is otherwise one-note...Moses’s career lends itself well to a satirical approach...But 'Bulldozer’s' portrait of the ruthless roadmaker is stubbornly pedestrian." Full Review

New York Theater

“'Bulldozer,' which is decently directed and professionally performed by a hardworking five-member cast, does turn out to be ludicrous in several of its choices...It attempts something of a more balanced portrait, at least initially, although it does so awkwardly...Galperin deserves kudos for attempting something so ambitious as a musical biography of such a complex man. But ‘Bulldozer’ needs work.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

“A mess from start to finish...The performances are so cookie cutter, that it is hard to care...The direction is all over the map...The script is a mess and we never really get to know the inner workings of this complex and complicated man. The music all sounds the same and maybe if the singers were not trying to out sing the band and each other, it would be easier to judge...It needs so much work, I think the whole thing should be bulldozed and put out of it’s misery.” Full Review


“Unfortunately, the new rock musical, ‘Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses,’ isn't the answer. The book by Peter Galperin and Daniel Scot Kadin only superficially covers the subject and the rock score with music and lyrics by Galperin is inappropriate for a story that covers the period 1921 to 1968. Tony nominee and ‘American Idol’ finalist Constantine Maroulis is too bland as Moses to convey the force and drive he had in converting New York into a modern metropolis.” Full Review


“You really don't have to know much about Robert Moses to enjoy isolated aspects of this rock musical...Plot progression is fast and furious as is the cascade of songs...But the book fails to provide the main character with the kind of motivation that will define Moses as a remarkable man with a complex, but definitely not conflicted, personality...What we do see is the outline of an essentially unlikable but obsessed with power man." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“An imperfect, but generally enjoyable and informative view into the turbulent career of Moses...Galperin and Kadin whiz through his story and one wishes that there was even more substance here...Still, they’ve packed quite a bit of good stuff...Don’t expect a definitive account of Moses’ historical significance, but do expect to walk away with a thirst for more knowledge about the man...You’ll have this remarkable cast, directed by Carpenter to thank for your piqued curiosity.” Full Review


“A complex story, one that this 95-minute musical can’t begin to tell...Multiple rock numbers that ultimately sound pretty much the same...What we have here, of course, is a history lesson, but one that’s too complicated for this format. It will take more than 95 minutes to read the Pulitzer-winning biography ‘The Power Broker’ by Robert Caro, but it will give you a far better understanding of Robert Moses. Better leave historical musicals to that guy named Hamilton.” Full Review

Off Off Online

“Galperin and Kadin’s book lacks the depth and subtlety to portray Moses’s combative career thoughtfully...Maroulis does a serviceable job as Moses, though he, too, lacks the nuance to overcome the book’s flaws...Although audiences may be entertained...they probably won’t walk out with any more clarity on Moses’s complicated tenure—but at least they may be inspired to seek out a copy of Jacobs’ ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ instead.” Full Review

Let's Go to the Theater

“This show brings a unique approach to what could be a humdrum subject: history. Instead, it has an interesting story line about the legendary Robert Moses, all new songs, and a cast who work the layers and levels of the show with passion and intensity that delivers a satisfying performance theater goers will appreciate…Writer/composer Peter Galperin brings a fresh energy to the music by using a variety of styles…This is a very enjoyable show to see." Full Review

Tablet Magazine

“A turgid work that does little to educate or excite, despite its misguided attempts to do both...The musical mentions many relevant projects but it never explores them in real detail, or even successfully communicates their impact. Instead, it falls into an amateurish pattern of scenes of spoken exposition grinding to a halt in favor of musical numbers that communicate little at all despite the best efforts of an earnest cast...A short work, but manages to feel more like a slog.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The cast delivers virtuosic vocal performances that are perfectly in keeping with the virtuosic abilities of Moses himself. Even director Carpenter seems to channel the efficiency of the man himself as she streamlines the drama and deftly utilizes every inch of stage space. The simplicity of the staging allows the cast, the music, and the story to shine while providing space for the audience to draw connections between the political dictators of the past and present." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You are interested in an intimate, new musical about Robert Moses.The cast of 5 all have great voices and do justice to the rock score.

Don't see it if Biographical musicals are not of interest to you. The characters and story line could have been better developed. The score has a mix of

Also hard rock and tuneful melodies.The performances and great singing over... Read more Read less

Relevant, Resonant, Great singing, Great staging, Uneven

See it if you enjoy Constantine Maroulis, Kacie Sheik, city planning, and/or shows w/unsympathetic protagonists. The performers exceed the material.

Don't see it if you want to like the lead character.

Clever, Great singing, Great staging, Music good

See it if This is musical has alot of great singing voices with alot of ranges, with good music. The singing is excellent! as for the story so so.

Don't see it if If you want a talking not alot in this. You don't like musical. like musical.

Also I really enjoyed going to see this.

Great singing, Great staging, History

See it if Like new musicals with a history lesson. Small theatre that showcases GREAT talent. See it for the gem that is Molly Pope.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals or don't like to support new musicals.

Relevant, Entertaining, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if you want an entertaining, if light, bio-musical story of a major NYC influencer - Robert Moses. Staging was story appropriate.

Don't see it if you want a strong plot or lyrics. The music and lyrics were pretty forgettable, but the cast was good.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if If you enjoy rock music, are a fan of Robert Moses or are ready to enjoy an interesting little musical with some NYC historical content.

Don't see it if you prefer elaborate staging, are not a fan of rock music or want more of a detailed Robert Moses biography.

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You love rock/folk musicals, you love Constantine & strong Broadway voices, you'd be intrigued by a true Robert Moses vs Jane Jacobs story.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals.

Banal, Boring, uninteresting,

See it if you want to see a poorly written book with some great songs telling the rise and fall of Robert Moses in a show that is nicely acted & sung.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of stories that are bland and don't build up the characters through dialog and songs.

Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if great musical talent..musicians and singers--interesting- a concert - not truly " muscial" theater..

Don't see it if want a concrete easy to follow story line..don't like great music of mixed genres.Know or care nothing about Robert Moses-

Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if Robert Moses has some interest to you in the history of NYC

Don't see it if you expect a first rate musical. The music and story are both interesting but not exceptional.

Also The romantic part of the story is more fiction than fact. This casts a... Read more Read less

Funny, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to hear some really great singing by entire cast, especially Constantine Maroulis. Overall production is not so good

Don't see it if singing and some fun scenes are not enough for you.

Ambitious, Slow, Uneven, Works hard, Worthwhile tale

See it if you want good story about corrupted power, urban planning, and community organizing. Creative team worked hard to convey interesting tale.

Don't see it if you want perfectly assembled work. This is clearly a good story - albeit clumsily told with hit or miss folk-rock score. Good singing.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow, Uneven, Dull

See it if You want to learn about some of the impact that Robert Moses had on NYC and the politics surrounding his rise and fall.

Don't see it if You hope for a show with a heart. Most songs sound the same and are just biographies. Choreography is a mismatch too. Not much set.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like a well staged and well sung show about Robert Moses. The songs are good and the performances excellent.

Don't see it if you like Robert Moses. This show concentrates more on the latter part of his life where he was criticized than his earlier successes.

Also This show has the potential to go to a larger theater. It really is a ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing, Insipid, Fluffy

See it if For NY this was a deaster, reaked of country twang.In depth research needed for a more accurate story.A musical ok,but drop the rock!

Don't see it if Don’t see if you do not like loud music and a thin inaccurate storyline.

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Timely, Fair and balanced

See it if you want to see one of the few--if only--discussion of Robert Moses that honestly portrays who this powerful yet flawed visionary was.

Don't see it if like most New Yorkers,you've become accustomed to understanding Moses as being tantamount to the devil or don't want to shake those beliefs.

Also Moses was a visionary, which even his most ardent detractors must admi... Read more Read less

Great acting, Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You love to hear a new musical. Great story line about the story of Robert Moses.

Don't see it if You Don’t like to appreciate work of art.

Edgy, Great writing, Disappointing, Dated, Entertaining

See it if You like history and current music to a original score. Talented cast except for Vera. She was painful to listen to.

Don't see it if You are expecting an even story line and acting as it is a bit uneven.

Ambitious, Relevant, Inconsistent, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you are interested in Robert Moses and/or city planning - the cast is also great (especially Molly Pope as Jane Jacobs)

Don't see it if you are not interested in NYC history/planning

Absorbing, Clever, Relevant, Great singing

See it if You like rock musicals, history of NYC and want to be entertained

Don't see it if You already know the story of Robert Moses and dont like musicals

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Great singing, Challenging

See it if you like rock concert-type shows, you are interested in Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, you like the actors.

Don't see it if You dislike musicals, you want a plot, you want more insight into the history.

Also A hard subject to put into play or musical form. Too many songs and no... Read more Read less

Great acting, Banal, Disappointing, Disjointed, Confused

See it if you're curious about what a rock musical portrayal of Robert Moses looks like

Don't see it if you're looking for a show that does justice to Robert Moses's complicated legacy or even just has a focused plot line and a memorable score

Cliched, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You're a fan of Constantine's or are interested in Robert Moses. Singing was fantastic, albeit a little too loud for such a small venue.

Don't see it if you're not interested in learning about Robert Moses or if you don't like musicals.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You like to see talented people in a show with a terrific storyline.

Don't see it if You do not like small theatres.

Stay away if you have breathing problems...(in fact, just stay away anyway).

See it if You like great lighting, this is the shows best feature...Talent is good, but what they have to say and sing isn't.

Don't see it if Over amplification bothers you, stage fog (very light but still there) on from the minute you walk in till you run out at the end).

Also I don't understand why we in the audience and those performing on stag... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (16)