In the pre-Hollywood era, theatrical stars flocked to the New Jersey coast to escape the eastern cities' sweltering heat. After performing from September to May, they relished its tranquil beauty and cool breezes in the summer. This unique book spotlights dozens of the stars from the 1860s to the 1920s, including Maggie Mitchell, Lillie Langtry, Nate Salsbury, Lillian Nordica, and Robert B. Mantell, to name just a few. Count Basie and Arthur Pryor were among the musicians, celebrities, and vaudevillains in these seashore communities. Overviews of the Jersey shore theaters, Broadway tryouts, and technologies that changed entertainment are discussed at length. The Foreword is by Monmouth County historian George H. Moss, Jr.
New Jersey native Karen L. Schnitzspahn has been writing about the Jersey shore for over twenty years. Her works include seven regional history books and numerous magazine and newspaper articles about stage stars and American theater life. She also has performed with educational puppetry programs for children.