Updated: Jul 3
Some performers have had the opportunity to perform as several iconic characters in musical theater. This summer, A Work of Heart student Joe Moschella is one of those people adding to his list.
Moschella, 21, is a Rowan University theater major with concentrations in musical theater and musical education and education minor. He will star as Danny Zuko in the company’s production of “Grease”. For the production company, he has portrayed Simeon in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, Emmett Forrest in “Legally Blonde”, and Roger in a concert performance for “RENT”.
For Moschella, he had to face the challenge of learning choreography for the musical. However, he said he has grown in his confidence with every rehearsal. His favorite number to perform is “Greased Lightning”, a high-paced dance number performed by Zuko and his friends, the Burger Palace Boys.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun and everyone in the number has a lot of great chemistry,” Moschella said. He added that this number is like having a dance party with his friends in a car.
A Broadway influence on Moschella is actor Aaron Tveit, who has also portrayed Roger in productions of RENT and was Danny Zuko in FOX’s live production of “Grease.”
Moschella’s character sings well-known songs from the show such as “Summer Nights” and “You’re the One That I Want.” However, his character’s solo doesn’t come until the second half of the second act, which is “Sandy.”
Moschella explained how he always feels exhilarated when he sings this song. “It’s a very passionate meaningful song, and it always makes me happy when I get to put my own passion and meaning into a performance!” he said.
Moschella described that he has both similar and different parts of his personality to his character. He felt that some parts of the character are not as positive. As he put it, “I’m not as much of a slimeball.” On the other hand, Moschella admires that “Danny definitely has an overwhelming amount of confidence about him.”
“Grease” is notorious for its ending, which has appeared to many younger viewers as sexist because of Sandy’s transformation from conservative and a “goody goody” to a greaser girl clad in leather in order to win the affections of Zuko. “I am not a fan of the ending,” Moschella explained. “It’s kind of problematic.”
Moschella is a fan of songs from the era of “Grease”. He said that his favorite song from this time period is “Run Around Sue” by Dion. “I just love the whole doo wop feel about it,” Moschella explained. “It makes me happy!”
Of all of the aspects of the show, Moschella said he has enjoyed spending time with other people the most. “I have become very close with a lot of people in the cast and I’m very grateful for them,” he said. Moschella said he is very excited to perform this popular show.