Cedella Marley's 'Three Little Birds' turns theatre musical, Marley brand expands its horizons Image

by Biko Kennedy

Based on her book 'Three Little Birds' featuring music and lyrics by her dad, Bob Marley, themusical is set to run from March 15 to April 14 with its world premiere at the Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC) in Maryland's historic Glen Echo Park next week (March 15).

The show features three little birds singing their sweet songs to Ziggy, a very shy child who is happy to see the world from the TV in his room. Ziggy's tricky friend Nansi wants him to get out and enjoy the island nation of Jamaica but, Ziggy is afraid of hurricanes, mongooses and evil spirits. The worldly adventure is brightened by the fantastic songs of Marley.

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 Afro- Caribbean culture and music that heavily influenced African-American music in the mid-1900s and continues to influence it today.

Bobbitt is quoted as saying "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."

Expanding brand 'Marley'

According to Forbes Magazine the high demand for Bob Marley songs and merchandise is ranked alongside the likes of other late musical greats including the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. As such this demand has garnered a new deal with Creative Artists Agency and giant music merchandising company Bravado.

An article written by the Los Angeles Times notes that Bravado "plans to create a full apparel line inspired by Marley, and market it through U.S. retailers such as H and M, Hot Topic, Spencer Gifts, Wal-Mart Stores and Target, and throughout the rest of the world."

Hope Road Merchandising, LLC – the worldwide property rights owner for Bob Marley – president Cedella Marley sees the joint venture of expanding the family's apparel and accessories company, Zion Rootswear as a great way to share the 'Marley appeal' to grander heights.

"We believe these relationships will undoubtedly expand our father's growing legacy to new levels," Cedella Marley is quoted as saying. "We will still be able to spread his music and universal message of peace and love through these new avenues."

CAA assumes management of the existing brand portfolio of MARLEY licensees, while creating new global opportunities in the areas of motion pictures, television, commercial endorsements, consumer licensing, digital media, and games. Additionally, CAA will serve as a consultant to 1Love.org, the Marley Family foundation, on its philanthropic initiatives. "In our world, one of the biggest properties out there -- one of the best sellers historically, over the last 10 years -- has been Bob Marley," said Bravado Chief Executive Tom Bennett. "He's got a lock on the reggae world. It's a great lifestyle brand (and) it's very attractive to kids at a certain age. It does well in beachwear and surf-wear. It ties into the whole culture," he continued beforeCAA's Perry Wolfman, who oversees CAA's licensing division, annexed "Going out there, especially with someone like Bob Marley where there's so much cross-generational appeal and they have a global reach already…That's what's so interesting."

The one thing that is unquestionable is Marley's legend continued growth as the year slowly creeps away. Who knows just how far his impact will go in the future.

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