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Musical thriller Ripper premieres at Roosevelt University Nov. 14-17

Posted: 11/08/2013
Ripper, a new musical thriller that is based loosely on the story of Jack the Ripper by Chicago playwright Duane Nelsen, will make its Chicago/Midwest debut on Nov. 14-17 at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Part mystery, part tragedy and part romance, Ripper is set in London’s East End against the backdrop of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders in 1888 and is ultimately a story of hope, with the play’s Dickensian characters attempting to triumph over senseless acts of violence that plague society then and now.

“No one’s ever solved the Jack the Ripper crimes, giving us the leeway with this new production to not only present historical figures and events, but also to play with various theories about what might have taken place,” said Ray Frewen, associate professor of theatre at Roosevelt and director of Ripper.

There are 29 cast members in the production, which is being staged by the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University in the 7th floor O’Malley Theatre, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 14 and 15, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.

Ripper is a period piece with English dialects as well as complex music and sweeping changes in location,” said Nelson, who has been working with Frewen and the Theatre Conservatory actors and stage crew in developing the premiere for the stage at Roosevelt.

"What is coming together in this show is truly incredible,” added Nelsen,.who began writing the musical in 1997. The first stage readings for the play took place in 1999 at Apple Tree Theatre in Highland Park, Ill., where Frewen and Nelsen first met.  Ripper was staged in 2011 by Broadway Rose in Portland, Ore.

For tickets or more information, call 312-341-3831.