Sunday, June 13, 2010


I am back from a blessedly “totally 1040 free” but all too brief visit to Beach Haven on Long Beach Island. As usual the visit was scheduled around a musical at the Surflight Theatre (producing shows on LBI since 1949) – this time Rodgers and Hart’s ON YOUR TOES.

I once again stayed at the Coral Seas Oceanfront Motel. However I goofed in my timing – had I booked a week earlier, as I apparently did last year, I would have saved $30 (plus tax) per night for Friday and Saturday (June 11th is the date the rates begin to rise for the “season”. Plus I would have been able to secure a room with an ocean-facing terrace. When I stayed here in June of 2009 the motel was almost empty. This year it was “chock-a-block” – such that almost all parking spots were taken on Friday and Saturday. I will know better when I plan next year’s travel schedule.

The town itself was also much more populated than last year. Although on the plus side this year I was able to find an open ice cream store for an afternoon treat.

Not having a terrace I alternated my mystery reading between the bench on the walkway leading to the beach at the end of Coral Street, which this year provided me with an actual ocean view, and a gazebo overlooking the Bay next to the Municipal Boat Ramp, located behind the Schooners Wharf and Bay Village shopping malls. The weather was perfect – not too hot with lots of cool ocean and bay breezes.

I tried two new dining venues this year – Howard’s Restaurant for dinner (recommended, I think, by a client) and the popular Chicken or the Egg, or the “Chegg”, for breakfast. Great crab cakes and baked potato at Howard’s and an excellent breakfast combo at the Chegg. I returned to the Engleside Inn for my before-theatre dinner.

I knew of ON YOUR TOES (not to be confused with Cole Porter’s SILK STOCKINGS, also dealing with the Russian ballet, which is a musical version of NINOTCKA) but had never seen it. Lots of great dancing, combining tap and ballet, each Act ending with a mini-ballet (the 2nd Act ballet was “Slaughter on Tenth Ave”). But the score was not especially memorable, the only resulting standard being “There’s A Small Hotel”.

The Surflight Theatre did its usual great job. And my seat was again excellent – third row center. It was the end of the run (the last performance was Saturday evening) and there were a lot of empty seats.

This year I drove the entire 18-mile length of the island – from Beach Haven to Barnegat Light.

While I am sorry to be back in Jersey City I cannot put off the GD extensions any more – and must devote the rest of the month to getting them done and in the mail.

I will be returning to Beach Haven at the end of September for the Surflight Theatre’s production of THE MELODY LINGERS ON: THE SONGS OF IRVING BERLIN.


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