Children’s Theatre Co. Presents Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” Review and Parental Guidance

In partial preparation of my upcoming cruise, I happily volunteered to immerse myself into Caribbean music via Children’s Theatre Company’s production of Three Little Birds.  And I am so glad I did!

Three Little Birds runs January 24-March 1, 2020 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage.

In the interest of full disclosure, FFTC received two tickets from CTC for the purpose of review.  All thoughts are my own.

Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds

“One of the joys of making theatre is that you get to bring an entire world to life on stage,” states CTC Artistic Director, Peter C. Brosius. “And with Three Little Birds, we get to bring the world of Jamaica alive.”

-Children’s Theatre Company Press Release

“What are we going to see?”  my daughter asked.

I answered, “A musical based on the music of Bob Marley.”

“Who?”

And before I get reprimanded that I haven’t educated my children properly, let me tell you. Introducing my children to Bob Marley through Three Little Birds is the best way to do just that.  It’s a sensational experience meaning that Three Little Birds engages your sense of sight (bright colors), of touch (participation in clapping rhythms), of taste and smell (with the Caribbean treats for sale in the lobby), and of hearing (language and music).

Three Little Birds is extremely interactive.  At one point, Nansi and Ziggy gave a gift to Duppy and a little person yelled out to the stage, “Hey!  I want that!”  And Duppy looked at the gift, thought for a moment,  and responded to that person, “I want it, too!”  

We all busted out laughing.  It was perfect!

Bob Marley Three Little Birds Singer

Three Little Birds: The Sun is Smiling

As the performance began, I was completely clueless to what they were saying, what they were singing, who each character was, and what was happening.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was still completely enjoyable.  Absolutely, but my ears had to adjust to the rhythm of speech and movement.

Brin, my 13 year-old, and I enjoyed all the characters, but our favorite was Duppy, the hair-loving evil spirit.  Every single time he showed up, Brin and I giggled. A lot!  The whole audience embraced this evil guy.  And it’s fun to watch how CTC depicted him changing throughout the show.  See if you can catch that.

Bob Marley Three Little Birds

Three Little Birds: Going to the Ocean Port

Ziggy, the main character, is played by Ellis M. Dossavi Alipoeh.  He has performed the roles of Aladdin and Edward Tulane (as well as others) at Stages Theatre Company.  Ellis lights up the stage.  He embraces the role of Ziggy with abandon and brings us along for the ride.

At first Ziggy is hard to like.  He was boring and I thought that there was no way I was going to like him by the end of the show.

I was wrong.   Ziggy is transformed and so was I.  By the end of the show he was chatting with the audience and teasing us as well.  He also had us in stitches of laughter.

It got to the point where I didn’t want anyone else to sing.  When the whole ensemble joined him, I actually thought, “Stop singing.  I can’t hear Ziggy!”

Three Little Birds: Best Trickster in all of Jamaica

What I loved the most about this show  beyond the characters, the laughter, and the all-encompassing experience was the brief Jamaica history lesson we received in the middle of the show.  Not only that, but we were introduced to so many different cultures and language.

It was amazing.

Amazing.

About Three Little Birds

Bob Marley's Three Little Birds

Meet Ziggy.  He lives in the tropical paradise of Jamaica, reggae music floats through the warm breeze, and birds sing.   But Ziggy’s afraid.  Very afraid.

He’s too worried about hurricanes, evil spirits, and a sneaky, freaky, hair-grabbing trickster Duppy! How will he learn that “every little thing is gonna be alright.”

A musical that jams Jamaican style, it’s a timeless tale of peace, love, and the music of Bob Marley, man.

Show Notes for Three Little Birds

Run Time: 1 hour, no intermission

ASL/AD Performance: Friday, February 14 at 7pm

Sensory Friendly Performance: Friday, February 28 at 7pm

Parental Guidance for Three Little Birds

Children’s Theatre Company recommends this show for all ages.  I think they nailed it on this one.  But I think the older your kids are, the more they will appreciate all the nuances and follow the story better.  Like I said, my 7th grader loved the show.  Though the 5th grade boy sitting next to me seemed to hate all the “love” stuff that was mentioned.  Even in the dark, I could see his blushing cheeks as he hid his face at each mention.

Thoughts for families bringing younger kids: There are a couple of potentially spooky moments.  One of them is when we first meet Duppy.  He is the antagonist in this story, so you can assure your kids that nothing is going to happen to Ziggy or Nansi.  Also, if you can encourage them to giggle at this funny evil spirit, they will enjoy the whole show!

Three Little Birds Dancing Nansi

Final Thoughts on Three Little Birds

This musical is for everyone–Bob Marley fans and those who have never heard of him.  It’s delightfully fun, entertaining, and educational.  You work through Ziggy’s emotions as well as learn how to be brave even when you are scared. And have fun jammin’ along the way. 

Three Little Birds is a delightful trip to a tropical paradise in the middle of a cold Minnesota Winter.

Tickets:
The Ticket Office is accessible by phone two hours prior to most performances. These posted hours are subject to change.
Email: tickets@childrenstheatre.org (inquiries only, no ticket processing)
Phone: 612.874.0400
Website: https://childrenstheatre.org
Subscription packages are available. Please see website for complete details: https://childrenstheatre.org/tickets/subscribe
Lap passes available for children newborn to three years for $5

ASL/AD Performance: Friday, February 14 at 7pm

Sensory Friendly Performance: Friday, February 28 at 7pm

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