The Tina Turner Musical brings electricity to Broadway, not subtlety

Esequiel Farfan
Noviembre 10, 2019

After this act, the mood of the audience finally gets better when warren starts to sing "River Deep, Mountain High", which was the only best performance for the evening.

For fans of Turner, see what your love of her music and life has to do with getting the highest score possible on this quiz.

When the Atlanta PR I occasionally work with contacted me and asked would I consider doing a review of "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" appearing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, located at 205 West 46th St, NYC, I said consider it done.

Although the musical just opened, Warren is already receiving praise for her breakout performance.

Between the book by Hall, Ketelaan and Prins and the musical supervision, arrangements, additional music and conducting by Nicholas Skilbeck, set and costumes by Mark Thompson, choreography by Anthony Van Laast and direction by Phyllida Lloyd, "Tina" is a Broadway phenomenon!

To be sure, the narrative arc is hardly challenging, advancing step by step in strict chronological order as dictated by the trajectory of the songs.

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"Tina" dramatizes Turner's life, including her childhood, tumultuous relationship with Ike Turner, and comeback in her 40s. And "Better Be Good to Me" is a sadly ironic hint of what's in store for little Miss Anna Mae from Nutbush, Tenn. She's more tightly controlled than the real-life Turner; her movement is sharper, her vocals less raspy, and she barely seems to break a sweat.

Other stars include Daniel J. Watts, Dawnn Lewis, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, and Myra Lucretia Taylor, plus Steven Booth, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Gerald Caesar, Holli' Conway, Kayla Davion, Leandra Ellis-Gaston, Charlie Franklin, Judith Franklin, Matthew Griffin, Sheldon Henry, David Jennings, Ross Lekites, Robert Lenzi, Gloria Manning, Rob Marnell, Mehret Marsh, Jhardon DiShon Milton, Destinee Rea, Mars Rucker, Jessica Rush, Justin Schuman, Alyssa Shorte, Carla Stewart, Jayden Theophile, Skye Dakota Turner, Antonio Watson and Katie Webber.

Warren shows us that side of Tina when she's all alone and down on her luck in England.

Meanwhile, there's Ike to deal with. She is one of the favorite, evergreen, all-time singers.

What looms over Hall's squeezed-from-concentrate storytelling most, inevitably, is What's Love Got to Do With It - the 1993 biopic that essentially followed the same narrative, with infinitely more subtlety and space to unfurl. Try putting that into a song.

Turner joined the "Tina" cast onstage during the show's curtain call, where she embraced Adrienne Warren, who plays her in the musical. Instead, their frenetic, glitter-strewn script rushes headlong through almost every scene, galloping past the biographical milestones of an extraordinary life only long enough to mark them and move on to what the audience has presumably come for: the music.

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