It’s no secret that Kip Winger is a musician that constantly experiments and evolves, exploring various ways of artistic expression while maintaining the quality index on the highest level possible. Since the second Winger album it was quite evident that he wasn’t going to contain himself within the narrow limits of hard rock and hair metal and that fact became clear and further solidified through his solo works. During the last 10 years, alongside the reactivation of Winger, he has been composing contemporary classical and symphonic music. And I guess it was a matter of time before he delved into the realms of Musicals, with Get Jack being his first full on attempt. A very ambitious project that came to life through tons of effort and the composer hopes to materialize upon a Broadway scene.
Get Jack is the fruit of the collaboration between the composer and the writer/director Damien Gray. The duo envisioned a story where the victims of Jack the Ripper return from the dead to haunt him and eventually taste bittersweet revenge. Winger assumed the task of breathing music life in this story. The composition was executed by the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, with an ensemble of more than 40 musicians, and sung by a cast of experienced Broadway actors. The rock element is of course present since John Roth, Reb Beach and Kip himself handled all the electric instruments.
I may not be considered a Musical specialist but what I can undoubtedly attest after the spinning of both Acts is that Winger has managed to capture the ambient of the story in full and skillfully combines the Victorian gloom with the shinning neon lights emanating from the colorful billboards of the famous New York district. That special place that holds the heart of the global Musical production. The feelings vary and alternate from dark and ominous to allegro and flashy, following the twists and turns of the story and the hunter who for the sake of catharsis becomes eventually the prey. The melodies stick and so do the convincing interpretations of the actors, with the well-crafted English accents adding extra points to the fidelity of the story.
Those of you that show interest into exploring a relatively unknown side of a beloved musician, should definitely give Get Jack some spins. On a personal note, I hope that when the time comes to visit the Big Apple, this particular play will feature in a theater next to Rock of Ages of Phantom of the Opera and I will have the chance to watch it unravel on stage, just like its creators envision and intend.