The Beachcomber

Surflight, Show Place Returning This Summer

May 26, 2017

A staple of the Long Beach Island entertainment scene is returning. In fact, two staples will once again be bringing smiles to residents and visitors this summer.

Beach Haven’s Surflight Theatre will be up and running this June after being dark for two years due to bankruptcy. The adjacent Show Place Ice Cream Parlour and its singing waitstaff will also be serving up heaping helpings of ice cream and fun once again.

Speaking of staples, the new owner is New York producer Al Parinello, the current lead producer of “The Fantasticks,” the longest-running show in Off-Broadway history. Former Surflight producing artistic director Steve Steiner will be running the show for him.

The landmark theater’s mainstage schedule includes “Footloose,” which will run from June 23 through July 9; “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (July 11-23); “Newsies” (July 25-Aug. 13); “Hairspray” (Aug. 15-27) and “Million Dollar Quartet” (Aug. 29-Sept. 10). The last tells the story of the legendary night of Dec. 4, 1956, when four of the greatest stars of the era when country was mixing with other genres to produce early rock ’n’ roll – Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis – got together for a jam session you don’t want to miss. Finally, “Home for the Holidays – A Surflight Celebration” will grace the theater’s stage Dec. 8-17.

Children’s theater will also make its return, with performances each evening Wednesday through Sunday at 6 o’clock. from June 28 through Sept. 3. Shows include such perennial favorites such as “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” “Snow White,” “Wizard of Oz,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Jungle Book” and “Winnie the Pooh.” Visit Surflight’s website, surflight.org, for the schedule.

The Surflight’s concert series – originally developed by Steiner in his previous incarnation – will feature The Coasters, Drifters, and Platters at 5:30 and 8 p.m. on July 17; Surflight fave John Davidson at 3 p.m. on July 31; “Comedy Tonight,” with performers to be announced, at 8:30 p.m., also on July 31; comic Mike Marino (“Jersey’s Bad Boy”) at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 7; another round of “Comedy Tonight” at 8:30 p. m. on Aug. 21; the New Millennium Jazz band playing the Sinatra songbook at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 25; and Todd Meredith, famous for playing Buddy Holly all across the country in the musical “Buddy,” and his band The Rave-Ons playing the bespectacled one’s hits and more at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Surflight will also once again offer group lunch and dinner theater packages, joining with Island restaurants such as Buckalew’s, Carmen’s, Fred’s Diner, Surf City Hotel and Kubel’s Too.

Tickets for all of the above may be purchased online at surflight.org, by phone at 609-492-9477, or at the box office, located at 201 Engleside Ave. in the heart of Beach Haven.

— Rick Mellerup

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