The Schnitzspahn Collection
Jack Nicholson. Bruce Springsteen. Tom Cruise. Queen Latifah. Our state’s contributions to the entertainment industry have been endlessly chronicled and commemorated. Yet generations before New Jersey became a “supplier” to the performing arts, it actually served as the epicenter of the entertainment world. Indeed, between the Civil War and World War I, summertime was showtime in the Garden State. For when New York City’s wealthy theatre-and-concert-goers headed across the Hudson and turned south, the 19th century’s American Idols followed. The show must go on, so they say, and it did—in playhouses and small-town theatres up and down the Jersey Shore. Historian Karen L. Schnitzspahn chronicled this annual exodus in her book Stars of the New Jersey Shore, and kindly agreed to give EDGE readers a rare peek at her priceless collection.