Scare up some fun this weekend in Ocean City with ‘A Family Reunion to Die For’

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OCEAN CITY – As a Halloween treat, the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company presents their first ever Murder Mystery Comedy, “A Family Reunion to Die For,” at the Ocean City Music Pier on Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.

Michael Hartman, OCTC’s artistic director, said the family-friendly production is a long-time dream come true.

“We’ve been waiting for about two years to do a murder mystery,” he said.

The idea of doing a Halloween show was also appealing.
“We’re really hoping that this becomes a tradition,” he said. “On Saturday, the kids can trick or treat downtown and then come to the Music Pier in their costume and we’ll give them a treat. There’s nothing like this in the immediate area, so we’re hoping for a big crowd.”

The production was developed and written by Matt Steele, with assistance from his brother, Mike. Matt has appeared in numerous OCTC productions, including “Charlie Brown,” “Tom Sawyer” and “Hello, Dolly!” He is now a member of the Actor’s Union and living in Los Angeles, Calif. where he is pursuing a career in film and television.
“A Family Reunion to Die For” follows the Knotting Family as they gear up for their big family reunion. Newlywed Christine Franklin is eager to show off her husband Freddie to the family she hasn't seen in years. The joyful reunion quickly turns sour when members of the family start dropping like flies.

Hartman said the production is not scary.

“It’s more of a comedy show,” he said. “It’s silly, zany, not gory. It was created for families.”

Hartman said the production is complete with a hilarious chase scene and over the top characters.

“It’s a whodunit,” he said. “Every family has the ‘crazy aunt,’ the audience will be able to identify with the characters and find lots of humor in it.”

The audience, he said, will be charged with figuring out the various crimes as the story unfolds.

“It’s different from what we’ve ever done before,” he said.

The production will feature area high school students, who will work under the direction of John Anker Bow. Hartman said Bow is “no stranger” to regular OCTC audiences as Bow has performed in “Hairspray,” “Annie,” “Hello, Dolly!”, “Cats,” “Oklahoma” and many more productions.

“The opportunity for the youth of our area to work with the talents of John Bow and a script developed by OCTC alumni Matt Steele proves the mission of OCTC and the mentorship program we have in place to leave a lasting impact,” Hartman said. “The students have had a lot of fun with this. The characters are so crazy and they really get into their roles. They’ve made a lot of friends. A lot of our regular OCTC kids were busy with school activities, so we have a lot of new faces, which is a good thing. We’re expanding our reach.”

“It’s a really cool show, we’re really excited about doing this,” he said.
Tickets are $10 and reservations can be made by calling 525-9300 or at www.ocnj.us/boxoffice. Credits cards are accepted in advance however, tickets will be available for purchase with cash or check at the door.


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