On a brief getaway to the shore I encountered Irving Berlin’s HOLIDAY INN, playing at the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, NJ. Based on the Universal Pictures film with book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge, this is quite a production for a small stage. Directed and choreographed by Paula Hammons Sloane, it’s fulsome and emotional with its melodic Irving Berlin numbers, loads of energy, spot-on dances, and a zillion costume changes.
Meticulous attention has been paid to casting the leads and the ensemble of singers/dancers who sing to pre-recorded orchestrations by Larry Blank – and a pretend piano. With all the talent, and scenic design by P&G Designs, this HOLIDAY INN is very, very impressive for a regional seashore show, in fact it would be impressive anywhere. Next up are Flashdance and Mamma Mia!
[Surflight Theatre, Long Beach Island, NJ] June 6-23, 2019; surflight.org