Heart On Sleeve Productions Presents THE APPLE BOYS: A BARBERSHOP QUARTET

Heart On Sleeve Productions Presents the World Premiere Of The Apple Boys: A Barbershop Quartet Musical, November 30 - December 23

Set in Turn-of-the-Century Coney Island, New Musical Features Book by Jonothon Lyons, Music and Lyrics by 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant Recipient Ben Bonnema, and Direction by David Alpert

"The Apple Boys have managed to reinvent the barber shop form for the 21st century. They are hilarious, clever and, of course, sound beautiful." - Alan Cumming

Heart On Sleeve Productions (Johnnie Moore Hawkins, Executive Producer) is delighted to present the world premiere of The Apple Boys: A Barbershop Quartet Musical, a one-of-a-kind musical that propels the uniquely American art form of the barbershop quartet into the stratosphere. Hilarious and heart-warming, The Apple Boys features a book by writer and performer Jonothon Lyons (Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique, Sleep No More), music and lyrics by 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant recipient Ben Bonnema (Adult Swim's Peter Panic, Boys Who Tricked Me), and is directed by David Alpert (If/Then, The Trip to Bountiful). Performances will begin November 30 and run through December 23 at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue).

Set in Coney Island at the turn of the 20th century, The Apple Boys features four diverse actors playing over forty characters. The story centers on Jack Chapman III (Johnny Appleseed's grandson) who sets out to save his family apple orchard by enlisting the help of Nathan Handwerker (founder of Nathan's Hot Dogs), Warren Lincoln Travis ("The World's Strongest Man"), and Lina "Hank" Beecher (designer of the first looping roller coaster). Together, this very different group of friends discover the magic of a new kind of music: barbershop harmony.

"Barbershop quartet music is a quintessentially American art form," says book writer Jonothon Lyons. "Nostalgic even at the time of its origin, this music is deeply rooted in a culture of friendship, kindness and joy. The Apple Boys is a timeless story of overcoming obstacles through unity, illustrating that harmony is something beautiful that is only achieved through embracing our differences."

"The Apple Boys is a flag waver of a musical planted firmly in the American Spirit of 'can-do-ism,' " says Executive Producer Johnnie Moore Hawkins. "I love its bounce, its humor, its lyrics, and heart. I love that people of all ages, demographics, and persuasions will laugh and enjoy a romp through elegant, old-time Coney Island."

The creative team for The Apple Boys includes Rui Rita (lights), Starlet Jacobs (sets), Marc Kimelman (choreography), Lindsay McWilliams (costumes), and Cynthia Meng (music direction).

Casting will be announced at a later date.

Performances of The Apple Boys: A Barbershop Quartet Musical will take place November 30 - December 23 at HERE, located at 145 Sixth Avenue (Enter on Dominick, 1 Block South of Spring), just below Spring Street. Tickets - priced at $15 previews, $25 general, and $45 premium - can be purchased by visiting appleboysnyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101. In person sales at the box office after 5pm only on performance days and two hours prior to curtain for matinees.

This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: a curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.

About the Artists

The Apple Boys have been delivering apples and singing barbershop harmonies around New York City since 2012. They have appeared at Club Cumming, The Public Theater, The Box (on stage with Alan Cumming and Emma Stone), Ars Nova, The Manderley Bar (home of Sleep No More), The NY Transit Museum and on their home turf at Coney Island, USA and Luna Park. They have many spectacular videos on YouTube and newfangled posts on Instagram and Twitter! @TheAppleBoys

Jonothon Lyons (book) is a New York based writer and performer. Written works include The Tenement (produced at HERE Arts Center in 2009, recipient 2010 NY IT Award for Outstanding Original Short Script) and Ens? (recipient 2013 Jim Henson Foundation Seed Grant). Performance credits include Blue Man Group, Sleep No More, Off the Main Road (WTF), Moisés Kaufman's El Gato con Botas, Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique, and Anthony Minghella's Madama Butterfly (The Met). He is a proud member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, The Dramatists Guild, and AGMA. jonothonlyons.com @jonothonlyons

Ben Bonnema (music, lyrics) is a composer-lyricist and recipient of a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant by the American Theatre Wing. He wrote book, music & lyrics to Adult Swim's Peter Panic, a musical video game that's been played by over a million people (developed by James Marion). His slumber party musical, Boys Who Tricked Me, was called "heart-healing musical theatre" by Joshua Barone in The New York Times. Other full-length: One Way, with Christopher Staskel (2018 Johnny Mercer Colony at Goodspeed, 2017 Yale Institute finalist Rhinebeck Writers Retreat 2017, reading at Playwrights Horizons,), The Apple Boys with Jonothon Lyons (Dixon Place, Ars Nova), and The Lost Girl with Arianna Rose (Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival). He contributed additional sound design and composition to Punchdrunk's award-winning show Sleep No More. Ben holds an M.F.A. from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and is currently Marc Shaiman's music associate. benbonnema.com

David Alpert is a New York City based director (SDC), most recently represented on Broadway as the Associate Director on If/Then written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, directed by Michael Greif. On Broadway, he served as the Associate Director for the Tony-Award winning production of The Trip to Bountiful (also at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles) and assisted on The Best Man as well as Guys and Dolls. At the Guthrie Theater, Alpert assistant directed the world premiere of The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide... Alpert is the Artistic Director of Headline Programming for BroadwayCon, a convention for thousands of Broadway fans held in New York City, and is the proud producer of the "Living for Today" concert series, the main fundraiser for Gilana's Fund.

About Heart on Sleeve Productions

Heart On Sleeve Productions is a new company producing theater works that amaze, delight, are unabashedly sentimental and well, fully 'Heart on Sleeve.' Executive Producer Johnnie Moore Hawkins is proud to present The Apple Boys: A Barbershop Quartet Musical as the first of many new-fangled, old-styled works to come. Hawkins's love of theater is lifelong, as performer, maker, and producer. He performed in Bill Irwin's Largely New York; danced with Doug Elkins Dance Company at Dance Theater Workshop and The Public Theater; narrated AMOVEO, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, at Opéra Garnier in Paris, under the baton of Nico Muhly; and co-hosted 27 Gnosis at dOCUMENTA (13) with Michael Portnoy. Having produced Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique in San Francisco in 1999 and shepherded Joey Arias and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist at HERE Arts Center in 2009, Hawkins has had a rich range of experience which sets the stage for The Apple Boys, a perfect combination of original music and wordy whimsy, theatrical intimacy and heartfelt humor that sets the bar for all future Heart On Sleeve Productions.

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