Get to Know Jack...

The most notorious serial killer in history comes to the stage in this haunting musical spectacle.  Originally presented in 1997 in Boston, “Jack the Ripper: The Whitechapel Musical” was nominated as “Best New Play” by the Independent Reviewers of New England. The score by Steven Bergman is reminiscent of the works of Sondheim and Boublil/Schoenberg, with the lyrics by Christopher DiGrazia bringing full circle the dark atmosphere of 1888 London.



​ACT ONE     


The curtain rises on the East End of London in late August of 1888.  Another prostitute has been cut down by a mysterious killer, and the people of the slum district of Whitechapel are both terrified and fascinated by the unknown killer among them. The Gentleman of the Press fuel the fire with their fateful reporting (Story of the Century).  The killer wastes no time striking again, as his thirst for blood is unending, and Polly “Mary” Nichols becomes the next victim (Moment #1 / Finger of God).  When Polly’s body is discovered, the prostitutes of the district can only wonder who is next.  Except for Mary Jane Kelly.  She seems to know the killer’s pattern, as it reminds her of someone from her past (At The Brittania).  The Press return to report on Polly’s murder (Story of the Century – reprise).


Kelly joins her friends Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, and Catharine Eddowes for drinks, and the four mourn Polly’s murder, despite the insults hurled at them by the tavern’s barman (Poor Polly).  The women all agree that in the brutal world of Whitechapel, no one will watch out for them except each other (The Likes of Us).  The women separate for the evening, and while Mary perceives further who may be committing these horrendous murders (Better Off Dead),  Annie Chapman walks toward home (The Tale of the Merry Maid), only to become the murderer’s next victim.


Her body is discovered, and when a hysterical Kelly stirs up a riot while trying to throw attention to the insolent barman, she gets the attention of Inspector Frederick Abberline (29 Hanbury Street).  He has Kelly taken away for questioning and clears the murder site; the day closes in dead ends and self-recrimination as Abberline seeks assistance with Dr. Rees Ralph Llewellyn (Who Would Have Guessed?). 


Review: Boston Arts Review
Review: The Theater Mirror

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