Playland accident inspires mother to write musical

Posted Monday, December 5, 2005 12:31 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Elayne Cassara's musical "Eternity" is based on her family's tragedy at Playland Amusement Park in Rye. Cassara wrote the musical and stars as herself — a mother struggling with the death of her 7-year-old son. Her boy, Jon-Kely, fell off a ride in August, and his mother, who was with him that day, wrote the musical as her way of coping and spreading a message that people can transcend tragedy by embracing God.

Read more from The Journal News.

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Monday, December 5, 2005 6:02 PM
"They have been speaking publicly about the dangers of amusement parks, hoping their son's death will serve as a wake-up call for parents. They also have sued Playland and Westchester County, blaming them for faults in the ride and its operation"

I bet Ed is having a field day with this.

Monday, December 5, 2005 11:20 PM
Where do I begin? Well, nothing like using God to win a lawsuit or entice people to buy tickets for the musical you wrote. Her character asks God where he was-- well, where was she while she sent her son into a dark ride by himself? Out converting people to her church?

That's another thing-- she preaches in the church that she and her husband started. Said church has a 700-seat auditorium that used to be a theatre. Guess that took some hefty donations. But now, after she wins her lawsuit, she says she'll take the proceeds and start a Christian school for underprivileged children. Make sure the entire potential jury pool hears that one. Why doesn't her church run a school for underprivileged kids now? I guess she wants nothing to do with anyone who can't pay their way now. They probably needed the theatrical lighting more.

She's asking for a 25 dollar donation for her musical, which apparently "stars" her friends and family. 700 seats, 7 shows, 25 bucks a pop. That's over 12,000 dollars. There's no mention of where that money goes. I guess under her pillow so she can cry in it every night.

"She told congregants that she laid her son's dead body on the floor of her basement and witnessed his rise to a place she called "paradise"." So are we to believe that after an accident requiring an investigation, the coroner allowed this woman to drive her dead son home so she could plop him down on the basement floor? This woman is a fraud, a sham, a phony. She gives all people of faith a bad name with her antics. I consider myself a religious person, and it just makes me seethe to hear about people like this. Can you tell this woman disgusts me?

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 10:24 AM
Take it easty RGB. Everyone deals with tragedy in their own way. While I'm not a religious man, for many people, faith helps families cope and move on. I respect that. (I've seen suffering families bond around faith, and I've seen grieving families abandon faith and disintegrate in chaos.)

Is she responsible for allowing her son to ride alone? Maybe, but it's not our place to lay blame.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 1:56 PM
I don't have a problem with the grieving, greatwhite, just the idea that she's using that grief to make personal profit (and I'm not just talking about a lawsuit). The whole idea of "let's all grieve together-- oh by the way, how about dropping 25 bucks in that basket on your way in?" Not to mention the "when we win the lawsuit, we'll give the proceeds to God." Makes me wish there was an emoticon with rolling eyes.
Tuesday, December 6, 2005 5:26 PM
Jesus Christ guys... I'm not religious at all, but you guys have got to give this woman a break. No matter who you are when someone dies you have to let them grieve the way that they want to. You cant just be jerks about it.
Tuesday, December 6, 2005 9:02 PM
I'm sorry but I agree with RGB. I know she is grieving, but it seems like she is pushing this a bit far.
Tuesday, December 6, 2005 10:05 PM
I agree as with RGB well. It's fine to grieve. Even to sue for the loss, but to all of a sudden make a profit of the death of your son? If she really wanted to get the message out and there was genuine concern for others, wouldn't she do a FREE play. Maybe touring from high school to any school preaching the "dangers" of amusement parks? It just sounds kind of shady to me, but who am I to judge. GOD will be her judge. This is just my view.

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