Flea bites on Swados’ ‘Jabu’

Bats resident ensemble to perform show

The Flea Theater presents Elizabeth Swados’ “Jabu,” a new musical comedy that combines French Absurdist classic play “Ubu Roi” with the wild life of its author, Alfred Jarry.

Written, directed and composed by Swados, “Jabu” starts previews Feb. 16 for a Feb. 26 opening. Show runs through April 2.

Swados has staged the show using elements of vaudeville, circus, puppetry, clowning and musical theater, plus slides and video.

The show will be performed by members of the Bats, the Flea’s resident ensemble: Nicola Barber, Stephanie Braun, Paula Ehrenberg, Michael Francis, Meredith Holzman, Parrish Hurley, Nicholas Job, Derrick Karg, Jamie King, Danielle Levanas, Taylor Mac, Emily Mattheson, Kevin T. Moore, Ana Valle, Hondo Weiss-Richmond, Matt Wells and Matt Wilson.

Sue Rees handles set, puppet and video design. Costumes are by Melissa Schlactmeyer with lighting by Garin Marschall. Musical director is Kris Kukul.

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Swados’ Broadway credits include “Runaways” and “Doonesbury.” Her Off Broadway shows include “Alice in Concert,” “Rap Master Ronnie” (with Garry Trudeau) and “Missionaries.”

She’s currently working on a handful of new musicals: “The Three Gods,” “Kaspar Hauser,” “Jewish Girlz” and another based on the book of Judith.

“Jabu” was developed at the Alley Theater in Houston.

Jim Simpson is artistic director of the Off Off Broadway Flea; Carol Ostrow is producing director.