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What's Happenin in Ocean City, NJ 1/30/19

Lou Gramm of Foreigner Joins Summer Concert Series

Even though the mercury is telling us otherwise this week, another exceptional season for Ocean City is approaching fast, and tickets go on sale starting Friday (Feb. 1) for a variety of great shows.

Starting at 9 a.m. Friday, the box office will open for the Mr. Mature America Pageant featuring celebrity host Barbara Eden on April 13, Broadway musicals including “Mamma Mia” (July 9 to 12) and “Newsies” (August 6 to 9), and the Children’s Theater Series on the Ocean City Music Pier (five different shows on Tuesday mornings in July).

Barbara Eden will emcee the Mr. Mature America Pageant at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at the Ocean City Music Pier. Eden starred in the iconic “I Dream of Jeannie” television series that launched in 1965 and went on to lead a colorful life and remarkable Hollywood career. Her talent and charm will be a perfect fit for Ocean City’s pageant, which mixes self-deprecating humor with nostalgia and talent in a tribute to men ages 55 and older. Eden will host the sixth annual event and conduct on-stage interviews with contestants.

The Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Ocean City Theatre Company and professional cast members will team up to bring Broadway to the Hughes Performing Arts Center this summer.


“Mamma Mia” uses the magic of ABBA's timeless songs to tell an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship in an exceptionally popular musical. The production contains ABBA's greatest hits, including "Super Trouper," "Lay All Your Love On Me," "Dancing Queen," "Waterloo" and more. Shows are 7:30 p.m. July 9, 10 and 12; and 2 p.m. July 11 at Hughes Performing Arts Center (beach block of Sixth Street).

“Newsies” is set in turn-of-the century New York City and tells the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, “Newsies” features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “Sister Act”) and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (“Kinky Boots”). Shows are 7:30 p.m. August 6, 7 and 9; and 2 p.m. August 8 at the Hughes Performing Arts Center.

The 2019 Children’s Theater Series includes:

·         “Schoolhouse Rock Live!”: 10:30 a.m. July 2

·         “Elephant & Piggies: We Are In A Play”: 10:30 a.m. July 9

·         “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical”: 10:30 a.m. July 16

·         “Stellaluna: The Musical”: 10:30 a.m. July 23

·         “How I Became A Pirate”: 10:30 a.m. July 30

Tickets for all shows will be available starting Feb. 1 at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling 609-399-61112 or at the welcome centers at City Hall (861 Asbury Avenue), the Roy Gillian Welcome Center on the Rt. 52 causeway and the municipal building at 46th Street and West Avenue.

Registration is also now open for any contestant 55 or older who would like to participate in the Mr. Mature America Pageant. Visit www.ocnj.us/mrmature for more information and to sign up as a contestant.


Lou Gramm, the original voice behind the classic rock band Foreigner, will perform hits like “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded” and “Double Vision” in a newly announced concert Aug. 5 at the Ocean City Music Pier. The concert also will include Asia featuring John Payne.

Tickets for the show will go on sale Thursday, Jan. 31. A pre-sale is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 (use code BRE). For more information and ticket links, visit www.ocnj.us/SummerConcerts.

The lineup for the rest of the Summer Concert Series at the Ocean City Music Pier is already taking shape. The series brings a wide variety of contemporary performers to the stage in Ocean City with most concerts on Monday nights. Tickets are on sale for the following:

·         BUDDY GUY: Legendary blues guitarist and singer. Monday, June 24 – 7 p.m.

·         HAPPY TOGETHER 2019: 10-Year Anniversary Tour starring The Turtles, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Buckinghams, The Classics IV and The Cowsills. Sunday, June 30 – 7 p.m.

·         BOZ SCAGGS: Out of The Blues Tour 2019. Monday, July 1 – 7 p.m.

·         ALLMAN BETTS BAND: The sons of legendary Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley perform both new music and Allman Brothers Band classics. Monday, July 8 – 7 p.m.

·         KILLER QUEEN: The Premier Tribute to Queen. Monday, July 15 – 7 p.m.


SUPER CHILI BOWL (Feb. 2): Ocean City Boy Scouts from Troop 32 will hold the third annual Super Chili Bowl fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Howard S. Stainton Senior Center within the Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Avenue). Prizes will go to the top chefs receiving votes from the general public after sampling the many different chili styles. The event is free for chef/participants with $5 per person charged at the door for taste-testing guests. Prizes will be given for Best Chili, Most Unique Chili, Hottest Chili and Best Cornbread. Chili chefs can register by sending their name, email address and phone number to Crystal Erney by phone at 609-335-3598 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FISHING FLEA MARKET (Feb. 2): The annual Ocean City Intermediate School flea market for fishing gear will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at the school at 1801 Bay Avenue.

HISTORICAL MUSEUM CHILDREN’S TEA (Feb. 9): The ever-popular Ocean City Historical Museum Children’s Tea will be held 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Ave.). The theme of this year’s event for girls and boys is “Pirates and Scallywags.” Festivities begin in the museum with fun-filled facts about pirates. After the program, attendees will proceed to the Senior Center for activities and a “high tea” featuring all types of sweets, sandwiches, tea and punch.  Tickets are $10 each, and children must be accompanied by an adult.  Tickets can be purchased at the museum or call 609-399-1801.


The Ocean City Free Public Library will be host to a series of events in celebration of Black History Month. One dynamic storyteller – Michelle Washington Wilson – will give the first two presentations.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, she will present “The Food and the Folks of the Great Migration,” stories of the widespread migration of African Americans in the 20th century from rural communities in the South to large cities and some rural communities in the North, including towns and communities at the Jersey Shore. This program is for adults only and registration is required. Call Julie at 609-399-2434, ext. 5222 to register.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, she will present “Quilts of Faith.” Before there were cell phones, or any kind of phones, people exchanged messages by symbols and codes, through songs and signs with hidden meanings. Imaginations were captured by a tale of African Americans weaving secret codes into quilt patterns in the 1800s to pass on clues and directions to runaway slaves on their dangerous journey to freedom. Quilts of Faith combines the legacy of quilting with stories and songs, and this program also has local ties. This family program is for all ages. Registration is required. Call the Children’s Department at 609-399-2434, ext. 5241.

Other events include “Learn About Infobase Research Databases” to teach about the library’s research tools, particularly as they relate to African-American history. This event is 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. Call 609-399-2434, ext. 5222 to register. Story Hour (10:30 a.m. Feb. 15), Toddler Time (10:30 a.m. Feb. 25), Story Train (1:30 p.m. Feb. 25) and a free film screening of “Selma” (12 p.m. Feb. 26) are also part of the schedule.