Why Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Might Be for You | Playbill

The Broadway Applause Series Why Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Might Be for You

The Broadway Applause Series Salutes Tina.

Adrienne Warren and cast of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Manuel Harlan

Ever since Tina: The Tina Turner Musical came rolling onto Broadway in fall 2019, by way of the West End, the show has brought together audiences of all backgrounds through the most unifying force: music. The explosive production traces the life of Tina Turner, from a small girl with a giant voice in Nutbush, Tennessee to the global sensation she continues to be today. Chronicling a life this grand is an epic feat for any performer, but it has opened up a specific lane to showcase an insanely talented roster of Black women performers.

Here are six reasons to catch the Queen of rock’n’roll’s reign on Broadway:

1. It is a show everyone in the family can enjoy.

Few musicals lighting up the marquees of midtown Manhattan are better suited for a family adventure than Tina. Vital lessons about resilience, sexism, and racism are onstage right alongside some of the most recognizable rock and soul tunes that older members of the family will never forget.

Nkeki Obi Melekwe in Tina Manuel Harlan

2. It is a powerful story about the triumph of a formerly abused Black woman.

Tina—a musical giant—was once made to feel small at the hands of her ex-husband and artistic partner, Ike Turner. As Ike and Tina’s musical act grew greater acclaim, the physical, verbal, mental, and financial manipulation Tina endured grew right along with it. It is always difficult to watch fellow human beings suffer from violence, but the real-life Tina Turner has made it a mission to share even the ugly parts of her story in hopes that it prevents other women from falling or staying victim to a similar one. Ultimately, Tina prevails (in life and in the musical) and is able to fill the latter half of her life with the joy, love, and support she has always deserved.

3. Tina is the epitome of female star power.

While Tina Turner’s star power cannot be cloned, the women who have been assigned the responsibility of portraying her several times a week on Broadway are nothing short of superheroes. Resurrecting the '70s-era choreography and Tina’s signature kicks while conjuring up concert-level energy song after song seems as difficult as playing the Super Bowl. Adrienne Warren, who originated the role in London and New York, won her first Tony Award in 2021 for Best Performance by a Leading Actress. Currently, artists Nkeki Obi-Melekwe and Kayla Davion alternate the role.

4. The show has the stamp of approval from the Queen herself.

There is nothing worse than falling in love with a bio-musical or -pic, only to find out the main star it celebrates does not want it to exist. Fortunately, Ms. Turner is a mega-fan! Time and time again, the titan has expressed love for the ensemble of actors, creatives, and crew members. In addition to popping up in the rehearsal room, she attended the opening night of the Broadway production and can even be seen chopping it up with Oprah and Gayle on the red carpet. Most importantly of all, Tina was involved in the writing of her narrative along with book writer Katori Hall.

5. Lovers of the film get to experience the same story live!

For many, the first introduction to the behind-the-scenes of Tina’s life was the 1993 film, What’s Love Got to Do With It? starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. That film delivered the tumultuous truth about the good and bad times of the rock star’s life, and scenes from it live on in our collective memory. Lovers of the film get to see those scenes played out again live in front of an audience of hundreds, an experience that’s unlike watching anything on television or film.

6. The music is 'simply the best!'

The 12-time Grammy winner wasn't inducted into the rock’n’roll Hall of Fame on two different occasions for no reason. Audiences will have the opportunity to hear all of her major hits and some wonderful cover songs in the two-hour-and-forty-five-minute production. “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” and “The Best” all make an appearance. And if you never had the chance to see Tina Turner live in concert, this is the next best thing!

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