Last weekend we attended the press performance of Three Little Birds at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, MD. When the theatre folks reached out to me to offer complimentary tickets to the show, I was beyond excited because of the cultural story that I knew the performance would tell in a way that would be entertaining and educational for my kids. We always enjoy each show that we see at ATMTC – most recently their Christmas performance – but I had a feeling we’d be in for a special treat with this one, and I was right!
The first happy surprise was seeing the set; it was bright and colorful and had elements reminiscent of the Caribbean: corrugated metal ‘walls’ and the actual stage was designed to look like a steel pan (something that SocaMom pointed out to me afterwards). The second happy surprise was that members of the Marley family were in attendance that afternoon to see Cedella Marley’s book – “Every Little Thing,” on which the performance is based – come to life. As a lifelong reggae fan, I was over the moon.
And then the show started and I found myself smiling and laughing and swaying and singing from beginning to end. The story was about Ziggy Marley as a young boy, afraid of outside and only interested in staying indoors and watching the weather report on television. His friend Nansi – who obviously has a little crush on Ziggy – has her eyes set on adventure and tries every trick in the book to get Ziggy out of the house. When she finally does – they’re in for roller coaster ride because ‘Duppy’, an evil spirit, is out to get the kids…and their hair.
The entire show is perfectly choreographed to Bob Marley’s music and my kids were glued the entire time. The writers also did a great job injecting insights into Jamaican culture – from the starring role of mangoes, to the folklore of duppies, to the childhood games, to the history of the island and its mix of cultures. After the show we got to meet Cedella, and Rohan Marley and I even spotted Rachel Stuart from my younger days of watching Caribbean Rhythms on BET and chatted with her for a bit.
I’ve been on a mission to expose my third-generation immigrant children to their Caribbean heritage…this performance was a welcome opportunity. Go see it if you can – it’s so worth it!
ADVENTURE THEATRE MTC ANNOUNCES A WORLD PREMIERE REGGAE CHILDREN’S MUSICAL, THREE LITTLE BIRDS
BASED ON A STORY BY CEDELLA MARLEY WITH MUSIC & LYRICS BY BOB MARLEY
GLEN ECHO, MD – Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC) announces a world premiere musical, Three Little Birds, the fourth in its Professional 2012-2013 61st Season, March 15 – April 14, 2013, based on the book by Cedella Marley with music & lyrics by reggae legend Bob Marley. Tickets are $19 each and can be purchased online at www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org or by calling 301.634.2270.
Ah…yasso nice! Three little birds sing their sweet songs to Ziggy, a very shy child who is happy to see the world from the T.V. in his room. His tricky friend Nansi wants him to get out and enjoy the Island nation of Jamaica. But, Ziggy is afraid of hurricane, mongoose and evil spirits. Their worldly adventure is enlivened by the fantastic songs of renowned Reggae artist, Bob Marley. Roots, Rock, Reggae!
Directed by Nick Olcott and adapted for the stage by ATMTC’s Producing Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt, Three Little Birds brings to life not only a beautiful story, but an African-Caribbean culture and music that heavily influenced African-American music in the mid 1900’s and continues to influence it today. As a result, Three Little Birds is the 3rd of Adventure Theatre MTC’s African –American Adventure Series. The second of this series, The Snowy Day, is nominated for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences in the 2013 Helen Hayes Awards and the first, Mirandy and Brother Wind was a finalist in the 2012 NY Musical Theater Festival.
Three Little Birds is recommended for Ages 4+. Tickets are $19 each with group and field trip rates available. Children under the age of 1 are free. The press performance will be Sunday, March 17 at 2pm. All performances will take place at Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD, 20812 in the historic Glen Echo Park.
Michael J. Bobbitt, Producing Artistic Director at Adventure Theatre MTC says of the show, “Jamaica may be a small island nation, but its presence has been felt globally, especially in America. We have been so blessed to have support from Cedella Marley, who was amazing to work with on this project and allowed us to introduce her words and her father’s music to a new generation.”
ABOUT ADVENTURE THEATRE MTC
Adventure Theatre (founded in 1951) and Musical Theater Center (founded in 1986) merged into one organization, Adventure Theatre MTC, in 2012. Located in Glen Echo Park (Glen Echo, MD) and Wintergreen Plaza (Rockville, MD), ATMTC cultivates new generations of artists and audiences by creating memorable theatrical productions and by providing young people the highest quality musical theater training. ATMTC serves students at all skill levels and families from diverse communities, approximately 75,000 people annually.