Michael Cooper

Music & Lyrics

Luna Park Benefit Concert

ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

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. Read the press release on Broadwayworld.

The cast will feature LaDonna Burns (APAC's Follies, NYIT Award Winner), Ashley Chiu (Ars Nova's KPOP), Jonathan Gregg (APAC's Blood Brothers), 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), Cliff Sellers (APAC's Follies), Samantha Sayah (Theatreworks USA Junie B.’s Essential Survivor Guide…), and Keith White (Broadway's A Bronx Tale: The Musical).


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UNTITLED EDGAR CAYCE PROJECT

The life of Edgar Cayce, the famed spiritualist and psychic, will be made into a musical THAT WILL debut in 2020 in Virginia Beach.

Michael Cooper and Anton Dudley were recently commissioned by the Association of Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), the nonprofit organization started by Cayce in 1931.


LUNA PARK

interview with coney island ORAL history projet

Listen to lyricist Michael Cooper and composer Hyeyoung Kim's recent interview with the Coney Island History Project, where they discuss their decade long collaboration, historical inspiration, and the power of memory in creating the new musical, set at Coney Island!


LIZARDMAN

Lizardman, music by David Mallamud and lyrics by Michael Cooper, has been recorded by Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis and Albany Symphony's Dogs of Desire on The Wild & Whimsical Worlds of David Mallamud, available September 30 from Broadway Records.


IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU

The vocal selections from It Shoulda Been You, including Michael's song "I Never Wanted This," have been published by Hal-Leonard and are now available for purchase!

 PHOTO BY KEN PAO

PHOTO BY KEN PAO

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