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Feature: PALISADES AMUSEMENT PARK To Become a New Musical

Palisades Amusement Park a New Musical

Feature: PALISADES AMUSEMENT PARK To Become a New Musical

Palisades Park musical in the hands of Musical Theater Innovator

What do Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Tony Bennett, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson all have in common? Each of these legends once graced the stage of Palisades Amusement Park! Now a spectacular new musical is in the works celebrating the glory days of "America's Amusement Park" and some very big names have already thrown their support behind the show. For over one hundred years, Palisades Amusement Park was the most popular amusement park in the entire world! It was immortalized in numerous movies and was the title of a #1 Billboard hit from Freddie Boom-Boom Cannon. Now the producers are inviting fans who love Palisades Amusement Park to be a part of the action!

Today, Palisades Park, The Musical is launching a GoFundMe campaign which may go down in the books. Considering the continued cult following of the famous amusement park, Palisades Park The Musical, already has several generations of interested fans and patrons lined up. But this Broadway-bound, late 60's / early 70's period piece is not your father's Oldsmobile! In the context of developing and funding new theater, it's more the souped-up hotrod Chevy Van of your rebel brother!

Feature: PALISADES AMUSEMENT PARK To Become a New Musical

Charles Czarnecki has been in the trenches of innovating new theater for over 20 years now, and Palisades Park is one of many ambitious projects emerging with him at the helm as the post-pandemic entertainment world starts to find its feet.

"I wanted to find a way not just to give Palisades Amusement Park the immortalization it deserves, but also for the community which supports it to have a true sense of ownership of the piece. When I first mentioned the Own a Piece of Palisades Park idea to Cousin Brucie - the beating heart and true torch-bearer of Palisades Amusement Park over the years - his eyes lit up with excitement. When I saw that, I knew it would be the direction to go as we moved towards further development and productions." The crowdfunding campaign is unprecedented in that not only do people have the opportunity to donate, but they may even profit from their generosity if the musical becomes a success. "To make it easiest for people to invest, I've structured it in a way that the usual complications of contracts and liability for investors is completely avoided. GoFundMe and other platforms make it quite easy to allow anyone to donate to a project or cause. But then depending on how much of the funding comes from the public crowdfunding campaigns - and we're hoping it will be all of it - there will be a percentage consistent with that chunk of funding which will eventually be given back as a gifts to those who donate. And then if profits are made, the gifts will continue to be distributed beyond what patrons have donated! A profitable handshake, Jersey-style. I don't think it's enough to try to sell the act of donating as a privilege. People work hard for their money, and $50 might be nothing to some people, but to most of us it can make a difference in our daily lives. There's no reason why a $10 or $50 donation shouldn't be as respected as a $100,000 investment. So that's what we're doing!"

Feature: PALISADES AMUSEMENT PARK To Become a New Musical

This is certainly not the first time a theatrical project will be developed with the help of crowdfunding, but it's the first time I've ever heard patrons prospectively recouping and profiting from their donations. "The accounting will be a nightmare for us" he says with a smile and a laugh, "but I think it's worth it to be able to give back to the people who have kept Palisades Park alive all these years. And a hit musical and possible movie musical would be the perfect thing to carry Palisades Park into the hearts of the next generation - a gift born of nostalgia to the fresh hearts and minds of the future."

The book writer and composer of the project is Mark Fabian, a Cliffside Park native who grew up going to the park and wrote the story and all the original music reminiscent of the times leading up to the last summer the park was open in 1971. Major influences include The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, T.V. sitcoms, and the buzzing energy of the times. The sudden sale and destruction of the park came soon after '71 leaving behind the unprecedented 74-year-long legacy of this privately owned and operated amusement park.

Czarnecki is holding his cards close as far as announcing the full creative team, cast, and the first regional production. "Once again, in true Jersey fashion, we've shaken hands with a few of our most ideal future team members, but we're also hoping that the launch of the crowdfunding campaign and the accompanying video archive project will inform not only the direction our development will go in, but maybe even inspire changes in the script itself. We initially conceived and launched the Palisades Park Video Archive to give people in isolation during the pandemic a place to go to both watch and tell their Palisades Park stories, but it is also the beginning of what I personally think will be one of the most important historic archives for the park. It's also a wonderful companion to our crowdfunding campaign to generate nostalgic content for people to stay engaged with, but we're delighted now to also find it may inform the piece itself. We're in the business of storytelling and nobody tells the stories of Palisades Park better than those whose lives it directly effected." The Palisades Park Video Archive had its official launch at the recent Palisades Park Reunion event at the PNC Bank Arts Center this past August in hopes that the first videos would inspire people to make their own videos at home and send them in to the YouTube-based archive. You can send yours to

Feature: PALISADES AMUSEMENT PARK To Become a New Musical

Czarnecki and Fabian have partnered with Vince Gargiulo: the founder of the Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society, creator of, and co-creator and producer of the PBS documentary Palisades Amusement Park: A Century of Fond Memories narrated by the legendary Ken Burns. The three partners have a clear vision of how to give the park back to the people and they seem to have all the resources and heart to actually do it! The musical is not just a musical. It's an immersive experience incorporating surround sound design, 360-degree projection immersion, and even immersive scent design to recreate the park in a theatrical and interactive setting. And now with Gargiulo on board, authenticity and historic accuracy in this ambitious project is surely achievable.

Fans are encouraged to get involved with this innovative project. The campaign promo can be watched at Learn more about Palisades Amusement Park at And if you are a fan of the park and have your own Palisades Park story to tell, you can leave your own video reminiscence here: (or watch others' stories told) at This show seems like a total no-brainer! One only wonders why nobody thought of it already! Good luck to the creative team from

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From This Author - Peter Danish