LONG BEACH ISLAND - The famed Surflight Theatre on Long Beach Island is hoping the curtain comes up on a better season as it and its community bounce back from Superstorm Sandy.
It has been a long winter at this Jersey Shore landmark, but it is ready to reopen. "That's why people come to the theater, to be transported to a different place," says actor Bart Shatto. "And they come here to be transported. You know, to sun and the surf as well as great theater."
The Surflight has entertained summer audiences on Long Beach Island for 65 years. Tourists come to enjoy the beach or the rides, then take in a show.
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The season begins Wednesday with a musical revue of classic broadway songs starring Julie Budd.
The Surflight seems built to last. In the past few years, it survived bankruptcy and near catastrophic damage from Superstorm Sandy.
The theater is hoping the season will prove to be more profitable this year. LBI is still recovering from the storm, and more visitors stayed away last summer, according to Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini.
"Jekyll and Hyde" will be Surflight's first full production of the summer.
The Surflight has one of the shortest seasons of any professional theater in New Jersey with summer performances through September and a show at Christmastime.