Hot dance & cool jazz; heavy dramas & light-hearted children's plays; majestic symphonies & foot tapping pop tunes: Every year, Lakewood residents thrill to a wide variety of live performances and cultural offerings.
The acclaimed Strand Theater is at the heart of the township's performing arts scene, offering live shows year 'round. Lakewood is also a venue for annual events, including the Music in the Parks festival and the Carousel of Music concert series.
400 Clifton Ave
In 1922, during Lakewood's heyday as a resort, world-renowned theater architect Thomas W. Lamb designed and supervised construction of the Strand Theater. The Theater was built to exacting standards of beauty and functionality, with unobstructed sight lines and ear-pleasing acoustics. Back then, producers would try out shows at the Strand before moving them to New York City.
Today, you are invited to sit back in a plush seat, enjoy the magnificence of your surroundings, and let the Strand entertain you, your family, and friends in the air-conditioned environment of the historic Strand Theater in downtown Lakewood. Broadway quality shows, dance, symphonic and popular music, famous entertainers of stage and screen, and many classic children's programs will captivate you and add a touch of grand theater to your shore-area visit.
Total renovation of the theater began in 1993 and was completed in 2003. The Strand is on the NJ Register and National Register of Historic Places and serves as the Ocean County Center for the Arts.
The new reception gallery includes a catering facility, a dance floor, and restrooms. The room holds up to 250 people seated in chairs or standing, or 100-125 people seated at tables. The reception gallery provides a venue for more diverse programming, smaller events, and gala receptions.
Carousel of Music
This popular summer concert series offers free, open air shows on Sunday nights in July and August. Among the groups featured are The Lakewood Municipal Band, a 45 piece concert band, and The Lakewood Jazz Ensemble, a 20 piece big band that has shared bills with Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson and the Glenn Miller Band.
The Lakewood Township Annual Carousel of Music Concert Series, under the direction of Wilbur Wittemann, continues to bring superb musical enjoyment to all residents throughout the summer.
Music in the Parks
During this seven day event, Lakewood residents enjoy performances by some of the finest school music ensembles in the United States. Nearly 10,000 students compete in the festival, held every May and June.