In “Bulldozer,” Constantine Maroulis Brings Rock to Urban Planning

On our podcast, the "American Idol" and Broadway vet discusses playing NYC's notorious master builder in a new Off-Broadway musical.

Constantine Maroulis returns to Off-Broadway in a new rock musical.

Today on The Scene our guest is singer, actor and producer Constantine Maroulis. Maroulis is best known as one of the first rock singers on American Idol, where he was a fan favorite, coming in sixth overall in the show’s fourth season and returning on several occasions to perform and mentor other finalists. He continues to maintain an active music career, touring and composing original songs, including his recent single “All About You.” He is also a regular actor, with highlights including his Broadway performance in Rock of Ages, receiving a Tony nomination, and Jekyll and Hyde, receiving a Drama League Award nomination. He was also a producer on the Broadway revival of Deaf West’s Spring Awakening. Now he is starring in a new rock musical, Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses, running Off-Broadway through Sun., Jan. 7, at The Theatre at St. Clement’s.

Bulldozer, by Peter Galperin and Daniel Scot Kadin and directed by Karen Carpenter, tells the story of Robert Moses, the “master builder” of NYC throughout the mid-20th century. Moses’ extraordinary influence shaped much of the city as we know it today, but his ruthless and often controversial methods, such as his preference for highways over public transit or his building practices that displaced hundreds of thousands of people, have left him a polarizing legacy. In our conversation today, Maroulis describes what it’s been like to assume the title role, bringing humanity to a towering historical figure better known for the city he built and the controversies he courted than other parts of his life story. We also look at how the creative team have infused a post-Depression era story with rock and emo music and we consider how technology and new startups are transforming the future of the city today. (You’ll also hear Maroulis become a crusader for pedestrians, giving “a bit of the Greek” to an unruly bus about halfway through.)

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