BWW Reviews:'Dinner and A Show' Surflight's LES MISERABLES and Buckalew's Restaurant
Our first stop though led us to Buckalew's. Had the French revolution taken place at the Jersey Shore, chances are that it may have ended right then and there at Buckalew's. Just a few blocks from the ocean and more than a century ago, one of Beach Haven's original hotels was erected on the corner property where Buckalew's now stands. Built in 1874, the Bayview House stood on The Edge of the marshes at the entrance to Mud Hen Creek. Boats ferrying supplies to the resort traveled through this waterway, tying up to the Bayview's porch railings at the end of their journeys. The Buckalew family bought the place in 1949, running it much as it was -A favorite watering hole for the locals, Buckalew's hosted the Beach Haven Life Guard's Ball, the "society" event of the summer. Tom and Muncie Buckalew also made the place famous for "tomato pies" and soft shell crabs.
In 1995, Beach Haven native Jay Cranmer and his wife, Lyn, after perhaps one too many nights enjoying Buckalew's breezy Jersey Shore atmosphere, became the next proprietors. Buckalew's has been the corner spot for food, fun and music ever since.
The menu is diverse enough for surf and turf lovers; from 10 seafood appetizers, to 11 main entrée dishes to an incredible sushi menu that would rival the best.
We enjoyed clams casino, she-crab bisque, stuffed flounder with crab and scallops Newberg all served with fresh garlic bread and vegetables. While I wouldn't quite rate the cuisine a 5-star rating, this is a wonderful family restaurant that summer tourists as well as regulars have enjoyed for decades.
Buckalew's is located at 101 N. Bay Avenue • Beach Haven, NJ • 609.492.1065 www.buckalews.com
Surflight Theater's production of Les Miserables.
Down the block and on the corner sits the long standing "summer stock" famous Surflight Theater and a very excited crowd as they all came to see Les Miserables.
From record breaking stage mountings worldwide to the release of the show to students to the epic film of winter 2012 and now regional theaters; is there anyone who has NOT seen Les Miserables?
It's quite an undertaking to bring Les Miserables to life on any stage. The sets are somewhat gloomy and dark, but the large principal cast is the strength or weakness of the success of Victor Hugo's novel and Boublil and Schonberg musical adaptation.
The Surflight Theater's production definitely has its strengths and weaknesses, but is overall a most worthy choice for theater lovers in the Jersey shore area this summer and undoubtedly one of Surflight's most ambitious ventures.
The cast is very strong as executive director Ken Myers takes no chances and brings in some Les Miz Broadway talent to head the line up. The show's main focus rivals Jean Valjean (Bart Shatto) and Javert (Todd Alan Johnson) both demonstrate their personal experience with Les Miserables with great passion and angst. The supporting principal cast of Kelly McCormick as Fantine, Alison Gleason as Eponine, Jillian Gottlieb as Cosette, Nicholas Cox as Marius, and Scott Sowinski as Enjolras all offer prevailing performances in each of their roles.
Musically, there is one torch song after another and this cast seems a bit patchy in some areas. McCormick's Fantine is prevailing with a bit too much focus on delivering songs than developing the heart wrenching character of the novel. Gleason's Eponine is stronger than it needs to be and her "On My Own" is earth-shattering! On the other hand, Gottlieb's Cosette is an even balance of acting and vocals. Cosette's numbers soar so high are that not since Judy Kuhn have I heard an actress that can't help but to channel Minnie Mouse just a tad in her delivery.