TNT Tina

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Photo: Manuel Harlan

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.

Adrienne Warren who portrays Tina Turner has Tina down to a science. She captured Tina's walk, voice, mannerism and dance numbers. She is Tina!!! The show's energy is explosive, energetic and volatile.

The musical covers the songs Tina sang with Ike and the songs she sang after Ike. It delves into Tina's childhood, relationship with her mother and sons, her marriage to Ike, the violence in the marriage and Tina's solace through Buddhism. A solace that gave her the strength to fight back and finally leave Ike. And, also the courage to re-brand herself and start anew.

After years of interviewing entertainers and glimpsing the biz that is show business, one quickly learns the so called glamour is a mere illusion in a filthy business that can suck the very life blood from those it chooses to make stars. It may start out at the beginning nice and easy but then later on turn out nice and rough. Innocent 18-year-old Anna Mae Bullock of Nutbush, Tennessee, learned as Tina Turner toughen up or get swallowed up.

The production comes to life due to the efforts of the cast members who consist of: Daniel J. Watts as Ike; Dawn Lewis, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (who also plays the role of Tina on Wednesday and Saturday matinees); Steven Booth who plays the role of record producer and songwriter Phil Spector; Myra Lucretia Taylor, Charlie Franklin, Gerald Caesar, Matthew Griffin, David Jennings, Ross Lekites, Robert Lenzi, Gloria Manning, Jessica Rush, Mars Rucker, Jhardon Dishon Milton, Jayden Theophile, Antonio J. Watson, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Katie Webber, Carla R. Stewart and Holli Conway, Kayla Davion, Destinee Rea and Mars Rucker as the Ikettes.

Songs in the show run the gamut from Proud Mary (Rolling on the River), Let's Stay Together, Private Dancer, I Cant Stand the Rain, What's Love Got To Do With It, We Don't Need Another Hero, and Simply the Best, etc.

I felt that every audience member, particularly the African Americans sitting in the audience, could relate. Could have a sense of pride in a woman who faced pain, adversity and near career ruin but walked through the storm and came out clutching rainbows.

Kudos to director Phyllida Lloyd; Music coordinator, John Miller; Set and Costume Designer Mark Thompson; Choreographer Anthony Van Laast; Bruno Poet (lighting design) and all the engineers and experts who work together to make “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” a hit. The talent in the show is enormous with a young child named Skye Dakota Turner belting out songs with a voice that guarantees her as a star of tomorrow.

The curtain goes up and the magic begins. The audience hypnotized by the flashing lights, the music and rhythm of the private dancer whose dancing for money doing what she's expected to do. Weaving the spell before anonymous faces, giving her life blood, paying her due.

“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” delivers all that is expected and more. It is a spectacular, a star bio, a thrill. It's a blockbuster and jewel on Broadway worth every penny you pay for the ticket. Go see it!!!!




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