Donald Fowler’s long-brewing Jack the Ripper musical, ‘Creep,’ will bow in Oct.

Fowler CreepIt’s been almost exactly five years since out Dallas actor Donald Fowler went behind the scenes to share a passion of his with audiences: Creating an original musical. In March 2010, Fowler debuted an in-the-works musical, Creep, at the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. I thought it showed great promise at the time, and over the years, I’ve asked Donald if there are any developments I can report. “Soon… hopefully” was his most frequent response.

Well, I don’t think five years is “soon,” but better late than never. Just as this year’s OOTL fest ended yesterday, came word that a revamped version of Creep  — a fantasia about Jack the Ripper, full of foggy Victorian London streets and introspective ballads (the subtitle is The Very , Very Sad and Unfortunately True and Completely Fabricated Tale of Jack the Ripper) — would be fully produced … the season opener, in fact, of WaterTower Theatre’s 2015-16 season. I was at an announcement party Sunday night where Fowler’s team performed two of the new numbers for the show. And given the arc — Fowler wrote the book, music and lyrics starting more than 10 years ago — it’s truly been borne of blood … and expect plenty of blood when it debuts Oct. 5, following a gala preview on Oct. 4. Until then, a fundraising group, called the 2015 Producers’ Circle, has been established to raise a minimum of $75,000 to supplement the cost of mounting a new production. Already about $25,000 has been raised.

WTT will announce its complete season on May 26.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

'Creep' premiere at WaterTower's OOTL

Last night, I attended the world premiere of Creep, the staged reading of a musical about Jack the Ripper written and composed by local actor Donald Fowler. (I previewed the piece in the current issue of the Voice, here.) I told Fowler that I would not be attending with my “critic hat on,” but that was kinda a lie. I mean, you attend something, even as a civilian, you have an opinion.

I won’t go into detail about my thoughts here to keep my word a little bit, but the sell-out performance was, but general consensus, a hit. There are parts of the script that need work (which Fowler ‘fessed up to) and the amount of fog required by the book would probably lead to a worldwide dry ice shortage, but the songs — very Sondheim-esque, especially Into the Woods and bits of Sweeney Todd, plus a style evocative of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Phantom and Jekyll & Hyde — were gems, the orchestrations impressive, the thematic unity exceptional. For one local man to do all of this by himself on his first effort staggers me. (One theater vet approached me last night and said he can’t believe someone he knew personally could accomplish so much. He was floored.)

So, Donald, no “review.” Just a congratulations on a job well-done and best wishes that Creep has legs. I haven’t had so much hope for the future of musical theater since I saw Spring Awakening.

UPDATE: Although they are published on an open Web site for Out of the Loop and without any limitations specified (certainly I didn’t sign any releases authorizing the use of my image and several people have put up their pictures on Facebook), the editor of another Web site accused me of “bogarting” the photo of Fowler, so it has been gameсео раскрутка

—  Arnold Wayne Jones