Show Place Ice Cream Parlor Returns Inside With Treats

SUNDAE, ANY DAY: After two years of serving scoops outside, Show Place is once again welcoming customers into the lounge for a more comfortable experience, with 50s-style waitresses, all of whom are experienced actresses. (Photos by Jack Reynolds)

Show Place Ice Cream Parlor is back in business.

In fact, he never went out of business during the COVID-19 pandemic, but he had to move outside to a tent patio. But he is now back inside and hoping for a great 2022.

Created by Surflight Theater founder Joe Hayes and Scott Henderson, a local banker, Show Place, located next to the Beach Haven Theater, serves ice cream dishes with showbiz names such as Funny Girl (nut butter ice cream pecans, caramel topping, chopped walnuts, whipped cream and a cherry), Oliver’s Twist (a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry) and a Chorus Line Split ( vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, chocolate, pineapple and strawberry toppings, banana halves, chopped nuts, whipped cream, chocolate chips and, of course, a cherry) since 1975.

Show Place also offers entertainment in the form of singing and dancing “waitri” dressed in 1950s-style stripper outfits. And we’re talking talented waitri – an extensive audition process brings in performers from across the country .

This year’s program includes:

Robert Charles Avigdor is a senior musical theater student at Temple University. The Philadelphia resident recently played Prentiss in “Peter and the Starcatcher” at Temple Theaters and the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast” at the French Woods Festival.

Maura Pawelko is from Oak Park, Illinois. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater from Illinois Wesleyan University. She played Judith Canfield in “Stage Door” with Jerome Mirza Stage and Allison Vernon in “Cry-Baby” with Williams Music Theater Society.

Matthew Hoffman is from Stony Brook, NY. He graduated from Montclair State University and played Nathan in an Alexander Kasser Theater production of “Guys and Dolls.” He also recorded an album called The start of something big.

Miles Wilkie lives in Selkirk, NY, and graduated from Wagner College. He played Oberon, King of the Faries in “A Midsummer’s Dream” with Upstart Crow Theatreworks, Joe/Conrad in “Working” with Wagner College Mainstage and Romi/Rachel in “In the Light of One Another” with Wagner College Stage One.

Show Place definitely has an Illinois connection. Mike Joestes is from Lockport, Illinois and graduated in May with a degree in musical theater from the Illinois Wesleyan School of the Arts. While a student he made “Three Days of Rain” and starred in “Songs for a New World”.

Annajean Gionta is from Ardmore, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a BFA in theater at Emerson College where she played Marjory in ‘The Moors’ and collaborated on ‘RAGE’, a new studio play.

New Jersey, of course, is represented at Show Place.

Brianna Cielo is from Woodland Park and graduated with a BA from Wagner College with High Honors in 2021. While there, she played Penny Pennywise in “Urinetown” and Eva Peron in “Evita.”

Allentown resident Bridget Gooley graduated with a magna cum laude degree in theater from James Madison University last May. While at James Madison, she was a member of Low-Key Accapella and helped create “Pandemic Project,” a student-directed production.

A few Show Place veterans are returning for the 2022 season: Jamie Baio and Amanda Donnelly.

The first is from Sayville, NY. He’s yet another Wagner College graduate – obviously word of Show Place has spread on his campus. Baio voiced Sky in Surflight’s production of “Mamma Mia!” and played Zach/Evan/Roger in Wagner’s “Significant Other”.

Donnelly calls Montrose, NY, home. She is currently studying Musical Theater and Technical Theater with a minor in Arts and Entertainment Industries Management. She was the assistant manager of “Steel Pier” under the direction of Robert Lewis and the manager of “MAD About You!” directed by Franklin Trapp.

Simply put, these folks are so much more than sodas and ice cream scoops; they are young professionals with a future. Many Show Place servers are now pursuing successful careers in showbiz, and they can find inspiration in Alex Brightman, an alumnus who currently performs on Broadway as the lead on “Beetlejuice.” So you can expect an experience like no other in other glaciers.

Show Place will be open seven nights a week through Labor Day, with hourly seating from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can make a reservation online at surflight.org/showplace or by phone at 609-467-5311. Be prepared to give your name, seat time, date, group number, phone number and if there are any high chairs or wheelchairs needed in your group. A deposit of $5 per person is required to make a reservation.

Have a last minute craving for ice cream and some fun? Show Place reserves a third of its seats at each seat for walk-ups.

Show Place also offers special birthday packages and can also host private daytime parties. Can’t make it to the salon? Show Place offers Sing-a-Grams for all your celebration needs and you can hire one to four servers to deliver them to your home, yard, pool porch. Call 609-467-5311 for more information on any of the above.

Show Place also offers a take-out window daily from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. through Labor Day Sunday and from noon to 9 p.m. on weekends through October. The take-out counter is also open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Surflight matinee days.

Hey, I’m screaming, you’re screaming, we’re all screaming for ice cream. Add a garnish of a real spectacle and, well, it really is the icing on the cake!

—Rick Mellerup

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