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An original american musical comedy

In Coney Island at the turn of the century, Johnny Appleseed’s grandson Jack sets out to save his family apple orchard with the help of Nathan (of hot dog fame), Warren (“The World’s Strongest Man”), and Hank (designer of the first looping roller coaster). Together these diverse friends discover the joy of singing in harmony and building something greater than the sum of its parts.

Four actors play over forty characters in this fast-paced musical comedy featuring entirely original music and lyrics by Ben Bonnema (recent recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant) and a “wondrously silly yet tightly constructed book” (The New Yorker) by Jonothon Lyons.

The Apple Boys is an old-fashioned, new-fangled adventure for everyone!


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.


Jonothon Lyons


Jonothon Lyons 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 Ensō (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


Ben Bonnema


Ben Bonnema is a composer-lyricist whose work has been featured in Variety, Wired and the New York Times. He was awarded a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant by the American Theatre Wing. Ben 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 of the New York Times, and had a three-week showcase production at the Musical Theatre Factory.

Other full-length: ONE WAY with Christopher Staskel (Goodspeed Writers Colony, Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat, 2017 Yale Institute Finalist, reading at Playwrights Horizons via the Musical Theatre Factory), 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 and supplied additional orchestrations for Ana Gasteyer's album I'm Hip.

Ben holds an M.F.A. from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and a B.A. in Music Composition from Whitworth University. He's a proud member of ASCAP, the Dramatist Guild, and Local 802. @benbonnema


David Alpert


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 (

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Marc Kimelman


This summer Marc will be choreographing Billy Elliot for GoodSpeed Opera House. He was the associate choreographer for Broadway’s A Bronx Tale and it’s currently running National Tour. He choreographed Saturday Night Fever (National Tour), Songbird and The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Man of La Mancha (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Play It Cool (Off-Broadway), Once on this Island (Dora Award for Outstanding Choreography), Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera (NYMF), as well as numerous regional projects across the US and Canada. TV/Film credits include: Degrassi: The Next Generation, Instant Star, Don’t Talk to Irene feature film (starring Geena Davis).

Marc is movement consultant for Vogue magazine (Annie Leibovitz, Charlize Theron, A$AP Rocky, September issue). Associate/Assistant: Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, Queen’s We Will Rock You (National Tour), Freaky Friday (Disney workshop), Once On This Island (Paper Mill Playhouse), Hands on a Hardbody (Broadway workshop), Seven Deadly Sins (NYC Ballet), Elementary.

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