TINA: The Tina Turner Musical


TINA: The Tina Turner Musical is slowly rolling to an end after less than a month of being up in lights. The fiery showcase has dazzled thousands in its short run at the Nederlander Theater, and it is no wonder why. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall and directed by the honorable Phyllida Lloyd, the jukebox musical stands separate amongst its genre neighbors.

One of a Kind

The harrowing, sincere account of Tina Turner’s coming of age is unlike others. It deals with psychological turmoil and chronic trauma in an unflinching manner. These emotional elements are what makes the performance so transfixing, for it shows that even the darkest of circumstances can be endured, and eventually, overpowered.

A musical about one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time is certainly one that has the potential to be paramount. Faithfully acting out the queen of rock-and-roll’s rise to fame is a daunting, seemingly impossible thing to do. Tina Turner’s voice, her dances, her stage presence; these are facets that are matchless. Yet, performers like Zurin Villanueva prove these presumptions to be false.

Zurin Villanueva as Tina Turner. Photo by Matt Murphy.

The Performance

The actress resembled Turner to a tee; from the slight shoulder shimmies to the sharp spins and growling contralto, it felt like the room was taken back to the 1960s. The way the audience responded to the musical performances of “Proud Mary” and “Don’t Turn Around” was less resemblant of a musical theater hall and more so of a roaring concert venue. It was as though people could not bear to listen with still limbs, which is, I suppose, the nature of Tina Turner’s music.

To put plainly, TINA: The Tina Turner Musical is one to witness. Chicago has been happily housing its magnificence for the last few weeks, but on April 2nd, it parts ways to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That being said, please seize the last week! To sit in front of a story that bleeds with such untouchable self-empowerment is a privilege. This will be proven when you walk out of the theater doors with a newfound zest.

Written by Bridget McGann

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