Mitchell Brunings to play lead in Marley musical

The world premiere production of "Marley," the first original musical based on both the life and music of Bob Marley, began rehearsals March 24 at Center Stage, the State Theater of Maryland. "Marley" will run May 6 to June 14 and will star Holland's "The Voice" contestant Mitchell Brunings in the lead role of Bob Marley.

Discussing the role, Brunings says “Bob Marley is a huge inspiration in my life and it’s an overwhelming honor to be playing the legend in a new musical...I am so excited to be working with (playwright, director) Kwame and an amazing cast and group of musicians bringing the story of this pivotal moment in Marley’s life to the stage.”

The show is being described as the first-ever stage production to feature both the music and life story of Bob Marley and will feature a cast of more than two dozen actors playing Marley’s family, friends, fellow artists and political leaders. Marley will tell the story of a man transformed into one of the 20th Century’s most important cultural figures. Set in the soundscape of an era, this new musical weaves together the life and music of a man who, to heal himself, first healed his homeland.

Brunings gained worldwide attention in 2013 when his soulful rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” during his audition on Holland’s version of popular singing reality show “The Voice” went viral. His performance (below) has more than 35 million views on YouTube.

Through an agreement with Blue Mountain Music and Tuff Gong Pictures, "Marley" will feature music composed by Bob Marley—including, among others, songs from Exodus, Kaya, and Rastaman Vibration, which were written during the period in which the production is set.

“We are very proud that our father’s legacy is going to be brought to the stage and that Mitchell’s unique and soulful voice will be a part of this great journey,” said Bob's daughter, Cedella Marley.

Kwei-Armah, who serves as Chancellor of the University of the Arts London and was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2012, is excited by the opportunity. He recently explained how he selected Brunings for the role.

“When I first saw the YouTube clip of Mitchell singing ‘Redemption Song’ on ‘The Voice,’ I was mesmerized. I jumped on a plane and dashed to Holland to see him immediately. Having auditioned actors around the world for this role, I knew right away that he was a natural...His soulful, gorgeous voice and deep respect for Bob’s music and life make him the perfect fit for this production.”

The full cast and creative team for Marley will be announced soon. For more information, visit and or call the box office at 410.332.0033.


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