Mitchell Brunings, a Dutch singer whose performance of a Bob Marley song on the reality TV show "The Voice of Holland" two years ago brought him international attention, will perform the lead in the musical "Marley" premiering at Center Stage in May.
The YouTube clip of Brunings singing "Redemption Song" has had more than 35 million views. One of those viewers was Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah, the writer and director of "Marley," which went into rehearsal this week.
In a statement released Wednesday, Kwei-Armah said he was "mesmerized" by Brunings' video and "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."
Brunings described Marley as "a huge inspiration in my life" and said it was "an overwhelming honor to be playing the legend in a new musical."
The musical will feature Marley's songs, by agreement with Blue Mountain Music and Tuff Gong Pictures. The show is scheduled to run May 6 to June 14.