The Music Man Experience:
What to Expect at Your First Show
by Nicole Fallon
Ice cream at the beach may be a Jersey Shore summertime tradition, but there’s nothing traditional about the experience you’ll have when you visit The Music Man. This cabaret-style “Singing Ice Cream Shoppe” has been a Lavallette landmark since 2003, and on May 25, 2018, The Music Man will once again open its doors for a 16th season.
Reserving your seat at one of The Music Man’s six nightly summer performances is the first step on your entertainment journey. Like a real Broadway show, guests queue up outside the Grand Central Avenue shop and are let in all together at check-in time.
Upon arrival into the black box theater, which accommodates just under 100 guests per show, you’ll be greeted by a friendly cast member, who may ask you to sing, shout, or dance for your ice cream. Once you’ve ordered, that’s when the real fun begins.
As you enjoy your ice cream sundae, The Music Man’s talented waiters and waitresses – all hand-selected by founder Aggie Roberts – perform in a high-energy, dynamic revue of Broadway musical numbers. You can also expect audience interactions and special celebration announcements during the show, which typically lasts 60 to 75 minutes. After the show, you can take photos with the cast members to commemorate your experience. Then, it’s time to clear out, clean up, and reset for the next performance of the evening.
Roberts noted that each show is different and largely improvised: The cast members don’t even know which songs they’ll be performing until the numbers are called during the show.
“That spontaneity is what makes the show such a special moment [for the audience],” said Roberts.
On certain nights during the season, The Music Man puts on themed shows featuring songs from popular films or shows, such as “Frozen” and “The Greatest Showman,” which debuts this July. While these show lineups are more structured, they still offer that classic live performance magic. Other themed events include the Disney Sing-Along, the Princess and Pirates Tea Party (tickets required), and post-season Halloween and Christmas parties.
Reservations and Pricing
Although guests without a reservation are admitted to each show on a first-come, first-serve basis, joining The Music Man’s Reservation Club and securing your table ahead of time guarantees a spot for your family during the show time of your choice. Admission to the show is free with the purchase of a sundae. If you’re not in the mood for ice cream, you can purchase tickets for $8 per person, which includes a complimentary beverage such as flavored soda, espresso, or gourmet coffee.
If you’re interested in treats or gifts prior to the show, you can visit The Music Man’s Fudge Factory and ice cream takeout window every day during the season beginning at 12:00 p.m.
The Music Man also hosts private events year-round. During the summer season, parties can be booked Monday through Saturday with a start time of either 12:00 or 1:00 p.m. Visit TMM’s Party Packages page for more details.
The Music Man at Seaside Heights
Seeking a more familiar ice cream ordering experience with the same musical flavor? Try The Music Man’s Seaside Heights Boardwalk ice cream parlour. The “Carousel of Live Musical Performers,” which is heading into its fifth season, features a continual rotation of medley-style performances, happening while customers order their ice cream at the walk-up counter. Reservations are still accepted here, but you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the performances on your own schedule.
No matter which location you choose, adding The Music Man to your Jersey Shore vacation itinerary will give your family a place to go at the end of a busy beach day and make a memory through a delightful shared experience.
“Our mission 15 years ago was to create a family meeting place that all generations can enjoy together,” said Roberts. “When people suspend themselves and allow [The Music Man] to take them away, they’re going to be pleasantly surprised – and they’re going to come back.”
The Music Man’s 2018 season runs from May 25 to September 8. For more information on show times, reservations, event celebrations, and other TMM essentials, visit TheMusicMan.com (Lavallette) or SeasideMedleys.com (Seaside Heights).