YES -> That Bob Marley and as First Stage is saying: Bob Marley’s THREE LITTLE BIRDS brings Jamaican good vibes to First Stage this spring! So what else do we know?
Infectious reggae music, colorful costumes and sets bring the culture of Jamaica to life in the Todd Wehr Theater with First Stage’s production of Bob Marley’s THREE LITTLE BIRDS. This delightful play is based on the children’s book by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, and includes music and lyrics by Bob Marley and is adapted for the stage by Michael J. Bobbitt. Arrangements, orchestrations and additional music and lyrics are by John L. Cornelius, II. Ziggy is afraid to leave his house. He is too busy worrying about tropical storms, evil spirits and the sneaky, hair-grabbing trickster, Duppy. With the help of his feathered friends, Ziggy will learn that “every little thing is gonna be all right!” With music from the legendary reggae artist, audience members young and old will enjoy jammin’ with this timeless tale of peace and love.
Bob Marley’s THREE LITTLE BIRDS runs April 21 – May 21, 2023 at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater, located at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets start at $18 and can be purchased in person at the Marcus Center Box Office at 929 N. Water Street, by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online at firststage.org. Performance runtime is approximately 70 minutes, which includes a brief intermission.
From Director Samantha D. Montgomery: “Ziggy is fearful about what might happen to him and this restricts him from living and enjoying the adventures of life. This play, Bob Marley’s
THREE LITTLE BIRDS, adapted for the stage by Michael J. Bobbitt, encourages us to enjoy the adventures of life by not allowing our fears to stifle us. Instead, we must rebuild ourselves and overcome our fears by finding the strength within ourselves to make bravery our only choice.”
Cedella Marley (Author) is the first born of Bob and Rita Marley and a descendant of reggae royalty. She is an accomplished singer, an inspiring author, an adventurous fashion designer and visionary entrepreneur. The world first met Cedella as a singing and dancing teenager with The Melody Makers, the Marley sibling group featuring her younger brothers Ziggy and Stephen. The group toured the world establishing a new generation of Marley musical mystique, as they sold millions of albums and won three Grammy Awards. In 1993, Cedella was appointed as C.E.O. of Tuff Gong International, the group of companies now includes a renowned state of the art recording studio in Kingston, Jamaica, which is utilized by the island’s top reggae artists and producers, Marley’s sons and an array of international artists. Cedella is also an accomplished children’s book author, having written The Boy from Nine Miles (The Early Life of Bob Marley), Three Little Birds, One Love and Every Little Thing. Published by Chronicle Books in 2012 is Cedella’s Every Little Thingis adapted from the lyrics to her father’s beloved song Three Little Birds. Debuting in an Off-Broadway children’s play adaptation in 2014 this children’s book is a follow up to Chronicle’s widely successful earlier release of One Love. Adapted from one of Bob Marley’s most beloved songs, One Love brings the joyful spirit and unforgettable lyrics of his music to life for a new generation. This heartwarming picture book offers an upbeat testament to the amazing things that can happen when we all get together with one love in our hearts. To learn more about her creative and philanthropic work, visit: cedellamarley.com
Bob Marley (Music and Lyrics), born Robert Nesta Marley (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981), was a Jamaican singer, musician and songwriter. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska and rocksteady as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley’s contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaica worldwide and made him a global figure in popular culture to this day. Over the course of his career, Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture and identity and was controversial in his outspoken support for democratic social reforms. Bob Marley
Michael J. Bobbitt (Playwright) is an award-winning theater director, choreographer and playwright who has dedicated his professional career to arts leadership. He began his tenure as Executive Director of Mass Cultural Council in February 2021 and is the highest-ranking cultural official in Massachusetts. Bobbitt serves on the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Board of Directors, the National Assembly of State Arts Agency’s (NASAA) Board of Directors and was selected for artEquity’s BIPOC Leadership Circle. He is the former Artistic Director of the New Repertory Theater in Watertown, Massachusetts and the Adventure Theater in Maryland. Bobbitt gained extensive experience in nonprofit arts management by training at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program and Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program. As a director and choreographer, he has worked nationally and internationally. As a writer his plays have been published by Concord Theatricals, Broadway Publishing and Plays for Young Audiences. Bobbitt is the recipient of the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement), the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities) and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), along with eight Helen Hayes Awards.
Samantha D. Montgomery (Director/Director ofArtistic Inclusion and Community Engagement) is a performance artist who is committed to the process of learning. She has worked in both traditional and non-traditional educational settings. Teaching is her passion, connectivity is her goal and working collaboratively in unity to nurture trust, acceptance, inclusion and community is her commitment. She has enjoyed working at First Stage as a Teaching Artist and is grateful for the opportunity to work as the Artistic Inclusion and Community Engagement Director. Samantha is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. She holds a BA from Alverno College in Professional Communication, a MS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Administrative Leadership and Supervision in Adult Education and a MA from Alverno College in Education.
Sonya Thompson (Choreographer) was born and raised in Jamaica. She has been dancing since she was 4 years old. Embedded in her soul are the traditional culturalisms of African people throughout the Caribbean Diaspora. She has an Associate’s Degree from MATC in Administrative Professional Applied Science and plans to pursue her Bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in Criminal Justice.
About: Bob Marley’s THREE LITTLE BIRDS
Based on a story by Cedella Marley; Music and Lyrics by Bob Marley
Adapted for the stage by Michael J. Bobbitt
Arrangements, Orchestrations, Additional Music & Lyrics by John L. Cornelius, II
Directed by Samantha D. Montgomery
Choreographed by Sonya Thompson of Ko-Thi Dance Company
Location: Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater, 929 N. Water Street, Milwaukee
Live Performances: April 21 – May 21, 2023
Description: Ziggy’s afraid to leave the house. He’s too busy worrying about tropical storms, evil spirits and the sneaky, hair-grabbing trickster, Duppy. With the help of his feathered friends, Ziggy will learn that “every little thing is gonna be all right!” With music from the legendary reggae artist, get jammin’ with this timeless tale of peace and love. Performance runtime is approximately 70 minutes, which includes a brief intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 3+.
Visit here for additional details, ticket information, and special performance info (pay what you can, ASL interpretation, cast info, and such).