|The Tina Turner Musical|
by Tina Turner
|Premiere||17 April 2018Aldwych Theatre, London:|
|Productions||2018 West End|
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is a jukebox musical featuring the music of Tina Turner and depicting her life from her humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into a rock 'n roll star. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd with a book by Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar, and Kees Prins, the musical had its world premiere on 17 April 2018 at the Aldwych Theatre in London. The Broadway production opened on 7 November 2019.
On 16 December 2016 a workshop presentation was held with Tina Turner in attendance, announcing that a biographical musical about Tina's life had been in development by Stage Entertainment for over a year. The creative team of the musical consists of Katori Hall, with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins as writers of the book, Phyllida Lloyd as the director, Mark Thompson as set and costume designer, Anthony van Laast as choreographer and Nicholas Skilbeck as musical supervisor. Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins wrote the early draft of the book, with Katori Hall taking over partway through development.
The show began previews on 21 March 2018 at the Aldwych Theatre, officially opened on 17 April. Adrienne Warren played the title role, with Jenny Fitzpatrick alternating in the role in some performances. The production was nominated for three Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best Musical. The title role was assumed by ensemble member Aisha Jawando when Warren left the production and is currently shared between Jawando and Chanel Haynes.
The show began on Broadway in previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on 12 October 2019 and officially opened on 7 November 2019. Warren reprised the title role in the Broadway production, with direction by Phyllida Lloyd and choreography by Anthony van Laast. As of March 12, 2020, the show was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed performances on October 8, 2021.
On February 9, 2020, the show opened at the Beatrix theater in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
In November 2021, the German production will be transferred to Stuttgart.
The musical opens with Anna Mae Bullock's childhood in Nutbush Tennessee, where she sings exuberantly in the community church despite her mother Zelma's embarrassment at her loudness ("Nutbush City Limits"). Anna Mae's parents have a difficult relationship, which culminates in Zelma walking out with her eldest daughter Alline, leaving Anna Mae to be brought up by her grandmother, Gran Georgeanna.
Some years later, Anna Mae is invited to join Zelma and Alline in St Louis, and she goes with Gran Georgeanna's encouragement ("Don't Turn Around"). In St Louis, Alline introduces Anna Mae to the night life ("Shake a Tail Feather"), eventually crossing paths with Ike Turner and his band, the Kings of Rhythm ("The Hunter"). One night Anna Mae joins Ike on stage to sing ("Matchbox"), and the success of the performance leads Ike to ask Zelma for permission for Anna Mae to join his band ("It's Gonna Work Out Fine").
Ike gives Anna Mae the stage name "Tina Turner" despite her protests. Although Tina enjoys performing with him, she's aware of Ike's vicious temper ("A Fool in Love"), and has to hide her love affair with Raymond, a member of Ike's band ("Let's Stay Together"). After touring successfully for some time, Ike asks Tina to marry him, since people already think they are because of her stage name. Tina agrees, despite being pregnant with Raymond's child; in response, Raymond leaves her ("Better Be Good to Me"). Tina keeps performing with Ike and his band, through Ike's infidelities, violence, and demands of Tina's health despite her having another child ("I Want to Take You Higher"). Ike's road manager, Rhonda Graam, advises Tina to leave him, but she refuses.
Ike gets a recording deal with Phil Spector, but is angered when he wants to record Tina solo ("River Deep Mountain High"). Ike is dismissive of Tina's ability as a solo artist, and during an argument attempts to hit her son, Craig. Tina almost walks out, but Ike apologises and begs her forgiveness ("Be Tender with Me Baby"). Tina overdoses and is sent to hospital, but is forced to check out for a performance ("Proud Mary"). Backstage, Tina and Ike get into another violent fight, which is the final straw and causes Tina to run away. Bruised and bleeding, she asks a hotel clerk for a room to stay, using only her stage name as a promise to pay later since she doesn't have any money ("I Don't Wanna Fight").
Tina, free from Ike, has been performing in Las Vegas with the help of Rhonda, now her manager. They're struggling to make ends meet because no record label wants to sign a black woman who's nearing forty years old, and Ike has claimed copyright over all songs from the "Ike & Tina Revue", preventing her from singing the songs she's known for ("Private Dancer"). While dropping off a demo tape at Capitol Records, they meet Roger Davies, a young Australian music producer who's a fan of Tina. Roger goes to Vegas to watch Tina perform ("Disco Inferno") and afterward asks to be her manager. Rhonda is upset about being put aside, but Tina insists that she needs to try something new, and that she needs Rhonda more as a sister than a manager ("Open Arms").
Tina travels to London for Roger's recording session. Among the people she meets is Erwin Bach, a German music executive. Tina wants to reinvent herself and transition to rock and roll, but she struggles with Roger's advice, and dreams of Ike watching her ("I Can't Stand the Rain"). Erwin visits her hotel room to provide comfort, and the pair kiss.
While preparing a performance showcase for the record label, Tina rails against Roger's instructions, refusing to be anyone's puppet any longer. Tina asks everyone to leave, and performs her Buddhist mantra to calm herself. She has a vision of her younger self and Gran Georgeanna encouraging her ("Tonight"). The showcase is a success, but the record label still refuses to sign her out of racism. Roger decides to promote her himself through touring performances back in the United States. Erwin asks her to stay in London and declares his love for her, but she rejects him. Tina's performance of the new material is a success ("What's Love Got to Do with It?"). Capitol Records begs her to sign with them, and she agrees only on her own terms.
Alline arrives with news Zelma is dying. Tina visits Zelma at the hospital, where Ike has been visiting Zelma as well. Zelma encourages them to reconcile; Tina demands that Ike apologise, but he can't and leaves. Zelma and Tina have an emotional confrontation, after which Zelma dies. Tina and Alline mourn their mother ("We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)").
Riding high, Tina prepares for a concert before 180,000 people in Brazil. Erwin arrives, having flown over to be with her. The pair reconcile, which leads into Tina's walking on stage for the concert ("The Best"). For the finale and encore, Tina and her band perform reprises of "Nutbush City Limits" and "Proud Mary".
|Character||West End (2018)||Broadway (2019)||Hamburg (2019)||Utrecht (2020)|
|Tina Turner||Adrienne Warren||Kristina Love||Nyassa Alberta|
|Ike Turner||Kobna Holdbrook-Smith||Daniel J. Watts||Mandela Wee Wee||Juneoer Mers|
|Zelma Bullock||Madeline Appiah||Dawnn Lewis||Adisat Semenitsch||Noah Blindenburg|
|Erwin Bach||Gerard McCarthy||Ross Lekites||Simon Mehlich||Stefan De Kogel|
|Gran Georgeanna||Lorna Gayle||Myra Lucretia Taylor||Adi Wolf||Jeannine La Rose|
|Roger Davies||Ryan O’Donnell||Charlie Franklin||Nikolas Heiber||Terence van der Loo|
|Rhonda Graam||Francesca Jackson||Jessica Rush||Sarah Schütz||Marianne Kloeze|
|Alline Bullock||Aisha Jawando||Mars Rucker||Denise Lucia Aquino||Gaia Aikman|
|Phil Spector / Terry Britten||Tom Godwin||Steven Booth||Alex Bellinkx||Rick Mcdonald|
|Raymond Hill||Natey Jones||Gerald Caesar||Anthony Curtis Kirby||Owen Playfair|
|Richard Bullock||David Jennings||Kristofer Weinstein-Storey||Marlon David Henry|
|Carpenter / Martyn Ware||Jason Langley||Robert Lenzi||Marlon Wehmeier||Jeroen Robben|
|Craig Hill||Kit Esuruoso||Matthew Griffin||Michael B. Sattler||Maickel Leijenhorst|
|Ronnie Turner||Baker Mukasa||Jhardon Dishon Milton||Dinipiri Etebu||Lorenzo Kolf|
- Songwriters in parenthesis
- In the Broadway production "Rocket 88" replaced "The Hunter" and "She Made My Blood Run Cold" was included after "Matchbox"
The musical received generally positive reviews from the critics, with particular praise reserved for Adrienne Warren in the title role as Tina Turner. Michael Billington of The Guardian described the "whirlwind performance" of Warren as "astonishing", and concluded on the production: "As bio-musicals go, this is as good as it gets." Similarly Dominic Cavendish of The Daily Telegraph described Warren's performance as a "tour de force" and considered the show "slickly choreographed, beautifully designed and roof-raisingly well-sung". Adam Mattera in Echoes noted "the production plays fast and loose with catalogue chronology... it's a crowd-pleasing decision meaning all the solo mega-hits aren't squeezed into the final act, but simultaneously it derails the dramatic reveal of Tina's 80s rock'n'roll reinvention," while concluding "it's so resounding joyous you don't care."
Will Gompertz of the BBC criticised the script as "rather disappointingly two-dimensional", but thought the musical "elegantly staged" with Warren a "24-carat, all singing, all dancing, bona fide star". Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter noted that while its grand finale contains "stilted, corny elements", "the production becomes a full-blooded rock show that is "roof-raising" and "life-affirming", with a climax that "swept the crowd to its feet. Pure button-pushing melodrama, maybe. But irresistibly uplifting entertainment, too."
Awards and nominations
Original West End production
|2018||Evening Standard Theatre Award||Best Musical Performance||Adrienne Warren||Nominated|
|Best Director||Phyllida Lloyd||Nominated|
|Stage Debut Award||Best West End Debut||Adrienne Warren||Nominated|
|2019||Laurence Olivier Award||Best New Musical||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Musical||Adrienne Warren||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Musical||Kobna Holdbrook-Smith||Won|
|Black British Theatre Award||Best Musical Production||Nominated|
|Best Male Actor in a Musical||Kobna Holdbrook-Smith||Nominated|
|WhatsOnStage Award||Best New Musical||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Musical||Adrienne Warren||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Musical||Kobna Holdbrook-Smith||Nominated|
|Best Show Poster||Nominated|
|2020||Black British Theatre Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Female Actor in a Musical||Aisha Jawando||Nominated|
Original Broadway production
|2020||Tony Awards||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Book of a Musical||Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Adrienne Warren||Won|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||Daniel J. Watts||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical||Myra Lucretia Taylor||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Phyllida Lloyd||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Anthony Van Laast||Nominated|
|Best Orchestrations||Ethan Popp||Nominated|
|Best Scenic Design of a Musical||Mark Thompson and Jeff Sugg||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design of a Musical||Mark Thompson||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design of a Musical||Bruno Poet||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design of a Musical||Nevin Steinberg||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Adrienne Warren||Won|
|Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical||Mark Thompson||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical||Bruno Poet||Nominated|
|Outstanding Wig and Hair Design||Campbell Young Associates||Won|
|Drama League Awards||Outstanding Production of a Musical||Nominated|
|Distinguished Performance Award||Adrienne Warren||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outstanding New Broadway Musical||Honoree|
|Outstanding Choreographer||Anthony Van Laast||Honoree|
|Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Adrienne Warren||Honoree|
|Outstanding Featured in a Musical||Daniel J. Watts||Honoree|
|Outstanding Costume Design||Mark Thompson||Honoree|
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- "BWW Review" broadwayworld.com, March 8, 2019
- Fierberg, Ruthie. "Tina, the Tina Turner Musical, Will Arrive on Broadway in Fall 2019" Playbill, October 3, 2018
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- McPhee, Ryan. " Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Begins on Broadway October 12" Playbill, October 12, 2019
- Clement, Olivia (May 12, 2020). "Check the Statuses of Broadway Shows During the Coronavirus Shutdown". Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- Huston, Caitlin (May 11, 2021). "Tina will reopen on Broadway Oct. 8". Retrieved May 19, 2021.
- Meyer, Dan (May 11, 2021). "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Sets Sights on October Reopening". Playbill. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- "Tina Announces Multiyear North American Tour | TheaterMania". www.theatermania.com. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
- "TINA - De Musical". TINA de Tina Turner musical (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-12-10.
- Billington, Michael (17 April 2018). "Tina review – whirlwind Turner tribute leaves you breathless". The Guardian.
- Cavendish, Dominic (18 April 2018). "Tina The Musical at Aldwych, review - this joyful, lungs-bursting show is simply the best". The Daily Telegraph.
- Mattera, Adam (20 April 2018). "Tina: The Musical". Echoes.
- Gompertz, Will (21 April 2018). "Will Gompertz reviews Tina: The Musical at London's Aldwych Theatre". BBC.
- Dalton, Stephen (17 April 2018). "'Tina': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Read the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 shortlist in full". www.standard.co.uk. 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
- "Stage Debut Awards 2018 – Winners |". WestEndTheatre.com - London Theatre Tickets. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
- McPhee, Ryan (2019-03-05). "2019 Olivier Award Nominations: London's Company and Come From Away Lead the Pack". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
- Longman, Will (2019-09-19). "Shortlist for first Black British Theatre Awards 2019 announced". London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
- "Shortlisted nominees announced for 2019 WhatsOnStage Awards". West End Wilma. 2018-12-05. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
- Thomas, Sophie (2020-10-26). "2020 Black British Theatre Awards winners announced". London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
- Libbey, Peter (October 15, 2020). "Full List of the 2020 Tony Award Nominees". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- "PBreaking: 2020 Drama Desk Awards Nominations- The Full List!". Broadway World. April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "Breaking News: Drama League Announces 2020 Nominations". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2020-05-01.