"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times

LunaParkAPACTitleTreatment (1)


 A Benefit Concert

Music by Hyeyoung Kim
Lyrics by Michael Cooper
Book by Daniel F. Levin

Additional Material by Michael Cooper & Hyeyoung Kim
Inspired by and featuring original text by Maxim Gorky

Directed by Dev Bondarin
Music Directed by Hyeyoung Kim

Saturday, December 1st at 8pm
Sunday, December 2nd at 3pm

Performance Venue:
RIOULT Dance Center, 34-01 Steinway Street (Entrance on 34th Ave.)

General Admission (performance only): $25
General Admission & Post-Show Celebration: $35
Premium Seating & Post-Show Celebration: $45

Where were you when the lights when on?” 

On May 16, 1903, over 250,000 electric lights illuminated the Brooklyn sky when Skip Dundy and Fred Thompson, the true fathers of the modern themed amusement park, opened Luna Park at Coney Island.  A full generation before Walt Disney, they created a fantastical place where New Yorkers could forget the pressures of modern industrial society and remember how to play. Not everyone was enchanted by the eye-popping spectacle of Luna Park, however—including Russian writer and political activist Maxim Gorky, who was appalled by the superficial extravagance of this emerging American pastime. Set against the theatrical backdrop of Coney Island at the turn of the century, Luna Park chronicles the turbulent partnership of Dundy and Thompson and the birth of the most iconic—and controversial—amusement park in the world.

Join APAC on December 1st and 2nd for a benefit concert of this luminous new musical by Hyeyoung Kim (Jonathan Larson Award Winner), Michael Cooper (Outer Critics Circle Nominee for It Shoulda Been You on Broadway, Jonathan Larson Award Winner), and Daniel F. Levin (Richard Rodgers Award Winner). APAC Artistic Director and NYIT Award Nominee Dev Bondarin will direct.

Both performances of Luna Park will take place at the new RIOULT Dance Center and will be followed by a Coney Island-themed post-show celebration for select ticket buyers. All proceeds will directly benefit Astoria Performing Arts Center.


Meet The Cast

The cast of Luna Park will feature LaDonna Burns (APAC’s Follies, NYIT Award Winner), Ashley Chiu (Ars Nova’s KPOP), Michael Deleget (Goodspeed Opera House’s Camelot), Aline Mayagoitia (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s In the Heights), Jonathan Mousset (Ogunquit Playhouse’s Jersey Boys), Toren Nakamura (Pioneer Theatre Company’s Chess), Tony Perry (APAC’s Raisin), Jason Pintar (APAC’s Merrily We Roll Along), Rachel Rhodes-Devey (APAC’s Merrily We Roll Along), Samantha Sayah (TheaterWorks USA’s Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School), Cliff Sellers (APAC’s Follies), and Keith White (Broadway’s A Bronx Tale: The Musical).


Production History

Luna Park was initially commissioned by SUNY Cortland, when its authors were artists in residence for the 2007-2008 season. Following a week-long summer workshop, a student premiere of the musical was produced in fall of 2008.  In 2011, a professional studio demo of selected songs from the show was recorded, and in 2014, Luna Park was invited to participate in the 4×15 Series at Musical Theatre Factory. The musical was next selected for the Oregon Performance Lab orchestration workshop in August of 2016 and further developed at the From Page to Stage Festival of New Musicals (produced by Aria Entertainment), receiving three staged readings in London in November of 2016. In December of 2018, Astoria Performing Arts Center will continue the development of Luna Park with two benefit concerts of the musical in its newest incarnation with a revised book featuring original text by Maxim Gorky.


About the Authors

Hyeyoung Kim (Music/Additional Material) is a Jonathan Larson Award Winner, NAMT, ASCAP/Disney Workshop, TRU, Composer/Librettist lab at New Dramatists, Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project, Sokoloff Arts Fellow. NYU GMTWP. SUNFISH (Co-Book/Music)- Daegu International Musical Theatre Festival (Top Jury Honor), Stoneham Theater (BWW Boston Best musical in a mid-size theater); FALLING (Music)- Songwriters Showcase NAMT, Creative Factory, Korea; CAFE-IN (Music)- Live theater, Korea. Toured to Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; LUNA PARK (Co-Book/Music)- MTF’s 4@15, NYC, Oregon Performance Lab, From Page to Stage, London; VAMPIRE IN A BOX (Co-Lyrics/Music)- SHArthall, Korea; DAYS OF RAGE (Book/Music)- NYTB’s New Works pre-premiere series, NYTB’s Choreography Lab; A STORY NO ONE KNOWS (Book/Music)- NYTB’s New Works pre-premiere series.

Michael Cooper (Lyrics/Additional Material) BROADWAY: It Shoulda Been You (Outer Critics Circle Nomination, Additional Lyrics, with book by Brian Hargrove, music by Barbara Anselmi). OFF-BROADWAY: City Of (Original song, with Anton Dudley), Playwrights Realm. REGIONAL: Music & Lyrics for Love, Always (book by Bill Connington) and music for Second To Nun (book and lyrics by Anton Dudley) at Zeiders American Dream Theater. INTERNATIONAL: Luna Park (Lyrics and Additional Material), Aria Entertainment’s From Page To Stage Festival Of New Musicals, London; Sunfish (Co-Book/Lyrics, music by Hyeyoung Kim) Top Jury Honor DIMF, South Korea (2013). MAC Award nominee, 2005 Jonathan Larson Award Winner. Selected for NAMT, The ASCAP/Disney Workshop, 4×15 at The Musical Theater Factory, and the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals.

Daniel F. Levin (Book) Musicals: “Spandex the Musical,” (Off-Broadway & Minnsky Theatre, Minneapolis); “To Paint the Earth” (Richard Rodgers Award, NYMF, From Page to Stage London).  Plays: “Hee-Haw: It’s a Wonderful Li_e,” (Nuyorican Poets Cafe), “The Waiter…always the Waiter” (92nd Street Y – Makor).  Publication: Applause Books’ BEST AMERICAN SHORT PLAYS: 2008, 2010, and 2014.

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