Tina Turner is an exceptional pop star who deserves a musical that does justice to her incredible story. Her powerhouse voice alone could shake the rafters of any theatre, but her life story is equally as powerful as her music.
In the hands of Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall and director Phyllida Lloyd, Tina: the Musical is elevated beyond the typical story of pop stardom. They recognize that Turner’s life is a mix of tragedy and triumph, intertwined with America’s history of racial division and discrimination, and transform it into a quasi-pop-rock opera.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, she first showcases her incredible voice at the local community church to the embarrassment of her mother, Zelma. With her parents’ turbulent relationship, her mother leaves home with her sister Aline, and Anna Mae is raised by her grandmother, Georgeanna. As a teenager, she works in the cotton fields.
During a visit to her mother and sister in St. Louis, Anna Mae is discovered at a nightclub by rising singer-songwriter Ike Turner. Impressed by her belting voice, he signs her up for his backing band and eventually as his wife, leading to a well-documented marriage rife with drug and domestic abuse. However, on breaking free from their toxic relationship, Tina finally takes flight on her path to stardom.
The story of their marriage is powerfully portrayed in the musical, with Hall’s book giving equal weight to Ike’s charisma and cruelty. However, it’s only after leaving him, both physically and emotionally battered, that Tina truly starts to soar on her own.
Tina’s musical score is exceptional, with hits like “Nutbush City Limits,” “River Deep Mountain High,” “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” and “The Best” building to a crescendo that’s impossible not to get swept up in.
Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, who currently plays Tina, is a force of nature, embodying the feisty, ferocious talent of the real Tina Turner. Every time she unleashes her voice, it’s an awe-inspiring moment that catches the audience off-guard.
In short, Tina: the Musical is a must-see for anyone who loves the music of Tina Turner or is intrigued by her incredible life story – Book Tickets