The New York Times reported that composer Timothy Huang’s musical The Cost of Living has been selected as a finalist for the American Harmony Prize. The musical is based on an actual story that happened in 2009 when two immigrant cabdrivers whose taxi-sharing partnership ended with one attacking the other with a meat cleaver and then jumping to his death from the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.

In the real-life scenario, the two cabbies were Nepali immigrants. Huang changed them to Chinese to reflect his own background.

Taxi drivers lead a life that involves sitting in a confined space circling New York streets for long hours. I’d say plenty of time for reminiscing in songs. But how is he going to make them dance? And how is the final confrontation to be staged? A la West Side Story? It sounds interesting. I wish I could see it.

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