Swados' Kasper Hauser: A Foundling's Opera Opens Off-Broadway Feb. 28

By Adam Hetrick
28 Feb 2009

Kaspar Hauser cast members
Kaspar Hauser cast members
Photo by Ryan Jensen

Kasper Hauser, the new world-premiere musical from Tony nominee Elizabeth Swados, opens Off-Broadway at the Flea Theater Feb. 28.

Preston Martin stars in the title role of the 90-minute Dickensian work that features a score by Swados (Runaways) and book and lyrics by Swados and 13P playwright Erin Courtney. Kaspar Hauser began performances Feb. 13 and runs through March 28.

Swados directs a cast that also includes Adrienne Deekman, Jennifer Fouché, Beth Griffith, Nicolas Greco, Joseph Dale Harris, Arlo Hill, Michael Hopewell, Amy Jackson, Erica Livingston, Chad Lindsey, Vella Lovell, Preston Martin, Kelly McCormack, Colin Mew, Jason Najjoum, Eliza Poehlman, Hannah Shankman, Marshall York and Carly Zien.

Kaspar Hauser, according to press notes, "is a true tale about a wild child found on the streets of Nuremburg in 1828. With a story much like a Dickens novel, the piece explores all the good and evil that happens when an innocent is introduced into society. Kaspar Hauser is a fairy tale, a fable, and a Brechtian gaze at our addiction to stars (and the tabloids) and the society that lifts them up only to slam them down."

Swados said in a statement, "Kaspar Hauser is a musical theatre piece, you might call it an opera, somewhere between Beethoven and Queen, and it only could be done in its first version at the Flea, a theatre that is both brave and strict about quality. And then there are the amazing Bats, a repertory company of highly energetic and talented actors who also sing with voices that range from Janis Joplin to Bjork to John Mayer. The Flea is an artistic home where anything can happen."



Designers are John McDermott (set design), Jeanette Yew (lighting design), Normandy Sherwood (costume design) and Sam Goldman (sound design). Kris Kukul musical directs with movement by Mimi Quillin.

Elizabeth Swados earned Tony nominations for her work as composer, lyricist, book writer, choreographer and director of Runaways. She has penned book, music and lyrics for Alice in Concert as well as Lullabye and Goodnight, The Trilogy, Nightclub Cantata and Groundhog.

For tickets, priced $25, phone (212) 352-3101 or visit TheFlea. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street, between Broadway and Church Streets, in Manhattan.