"If you went up to anyone on the street and asked them to sing a song from 'Grease,' they probably could," said Michael Hartman, 33, of Ocean City.

Hartman is the artistic director for the Ocean City Theatre Company, and he split his duties as director and choreographer with Rachel Marlowe, 25, an Ocean City summer resident, for the Junior Theatre Company's production of "Grease."

"Grease" wrapped up its final show Aug. 24.

Justin Smith, 16, of Linwood, played the lead Danny Zuko. He said that this production of "Grease" was probably one of the most fun he has had with the company, with which he has performed in four shows.

"I'm feeling good about this one," he said before the show Aug. 22, nodding, eyes wide. "Yeah, this one is really good."

The second male lead - Kenickie, played by Colin Milio, 17, of Cape May Court House - agreed: "This is probably the most fun I've had doing a show; everyone really molded their characters well."

"It's fun playing high school kids who are dealing with what high school kids actually deal with," said Natalie Ragazzo, 17, of Pennington, who played Rizzo. She thought a lot of kids in the company could relate to their roles, which is why everyone had such a great time in this production.

The junior company, which puts on a variety of events and fundraisers throughout the year, including a Halloween murder mystery show, a winter show, and a Valentine's fundraiser, will end its summer run with a showcase of Broadway and pop selections Aug. 28-29. Headlining the show will be Ocean City Theatre Company's show choir, the Spotlight Performers.

Marlowe said people often forget that the theater company is a nonprofit that supports educational initiatives with the junior company.

"We always offer scholarships for graduating high school seniors," Marlowe said. She added that although scholarships are limited, they try to give them to every graduating student.

"It really brings out the educational component of the company," she said.

Although Hartman is not sure which production the junior company will put on next, he thinks that he is leaning toward a more time-honored production: "I would like to do more of a classic, since 'Grease' and (the last production) 'Xanadu' were both contemporary."

The showcase of Broadway and pop selections will take place at the Moorlyn Family Theatre located at Moorlyn Terrace and the Boardwalk at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28 and 10:30 a.m. Aug. 29. All tickets are $10 and can be purchased by visiting the Moorlyn Family Theatre box office or by calling 609-399-0006.

Contact Devin Loring:


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