FUDGE to Open JACK THE RIPPER 3/29 at Boston Playwright's Theatre
On Saturday, March 29 at 8:00pm The FUDGE Theatre Company (Founding Artistic Director, Joey DeMita) will open their 13th Anniversary Season's Premiere Production of Steven Bergman & Christopher-Michael DiGrazia's musical interpretation of the London media frenzy that fueled the story of a series of five butchered prostitutes into a bonfire that is still burning today, one hundred and twenty six years later.
The brutal slaughters of the five women became the story of the century. The headlines screamed bloody murder in 48-point type. The reading public became willing vampires as they poured money into London's newspaper publishers' pockets.
In a deliberate attempt to heighten an already airborne story, the British journalists put a name to the at-large sociopathic fiend - JACK THE RIPPER.
Savagery was on sale. The whores were on the butcher's block. The East of London was a social powder keg. Boom!
JACK THE RIPPER: The Whitechapel Musical will play through April 12 at the Boston Playwright's Theatre (949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA.) There will be one Preview Performance on Friday, March 28 at 8:00pm. SATURDAY, MARCH 29 IS THE PRESS OPENING.
Directed by Joey DeMita, JACK THE RIPPER: The Whitechapel Musical has music and lyrics by Steven Bergman, book and lyrics by Christopher-Michael DiGrazia, and orchestrations by Mr. Bergman. Ben Oehlkers is the musical director. Scenic Design is by Joey DeMita. Costume Design is by Mr. DeMita and Emily Monroe. Lighting Design is by PJ Strachman. Props Design is by Emily Monroe. Julia Murray is the production stage manager.
THE BACKGROUND: In 1888 London was bursting at its seams; overcrowded to distraction and destruction. Fleeing starvation, the Irish immigrated in droves. Fleeing the deathly pogroms of Tsarist Russia, the Jews did the same. Hundreds and thousands more streamed in from other Eastern European countries; landing mostly in the already overcrowded East End.
There was almost no work. Housing was even scarcer. Living conditions became deplorable, almost indescribable. Starvation fostered robbery, violence, cruelty and debauchery. Alcohol dependence became the supreme choice of anesthesia; second only to prostitution. The police department and the growing army of do-gooding social workers numbered the East End's brothels at 62; most of which were in the Whitechapel District, the jewel in the East End's rusted and crusted crown.
The heart of Whitechapel is Whitechapel High Street, which extends further east as Whitechapel Road. In the Fall of 1888 over 1,200 women working as street prostitutes roamed, crawled and slithered along High Street to earn enough money for a meal and a safe place to finally sleep after a night of servicing London's male population bored with their wives and suffocated by the Victorian Era's draconian social mores. In November, frequent demonstrations and riots convinced the rest of London that Whitechapel was a stinking sewer of immortality and the police were sent in to pound the lower classes into submission. The social tension was becoming unbearable. And then it broke. Someone began butchering the prostitutes; leaving them debowled, dismembered and splayed wide open. It was sociopathic humiliation and the birth of tabloid journalism; a marriage made at a munitions factory.
JACK THE RIPPER - Matt Phillipps
INSPECTOR ABBERLINE - Michael Levesque
DOCTOR REESE RALPH LLEWELLYN - Kyle W. Carlson
GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS - Jared Walsh, Jermaine Golden,
MARY ANN "POLLY" NICHOLS/ENSEMBLE - Molly Gervis
ANNIE CHAPMAN - AnneMarie Alvarez
ELIZABETH STRIDE - Katie Preisig
CATHERINE EDDOWES - Lori L'italien
MARY JANE KELLY - Hollyann Marshall
BARMAID/ENSEMBLE - Kathleen Comber
ENSEMBLE - Ben Medeiros, Agatha Babbitt
THE PLAYING SCHEDULE:
Friday, March 28th at 8
Saturday, March 29th at 8 (PRESS OPENING)
Sunday, March 30th at 2 (Talkback following)
Thursday, April 3rd at 8
Friday, April 4th at 8
Saturday, April 5th at 8
Sunday, April 6th at 2
Friday, April 11th at 8
Saturday, April 12th at 8
All performances run at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. Tickets: $26 Adults $21 Students/Seniors. For reservations, call 1-866-811-4111 or visit www.fudgetheatre.com.