Tina Turner musical on national tour gains extra meaning in the wake of the rock icon’s death

Jun 13, 2023, 6:56 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The national tour of Broadway’s “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical” makes its California debut this week, arriving as a poignant, posthumous celebration following the rock music icon’s death last month.

“Tina” opens in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on Wednesday, steps away from her Hollywood Walk of Fame star and where she recorded for Capitol Records. It plays there until July 9, followed by two weeks at Segerstrom Center the Arts in Costa Mesa and stops in San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose later this summer.

“We have always wanted to put audiences in the room with her and it’s obviously going to have even more of a special meaning now that she is gone from us physically,” says Katori Hall, co-writer of the musical.

“But her energy, her spirit, obviously has been interwoven into our creative processes. And I pray that we’ll always be able to give every audience member a little piece of Tina when they come to the show.”

Turner, who survived a horrifying marriage to triumph in middle age with such hits as “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “Better Be Good To Me,” died last month in Küsnacht near Zurich. She was 83.

After California, the tour continues its multi-year national journey, visiting 37 more cities across North America next season. It has been touring regularly since fall 2022. There are also productions running on London’s West End, as well as in Sydney, Australia, and Stuttgart, Germany.

The musical traces the highs and lows of the two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, including her hellish marriage scarred by domestic violence and the rise as a beloved solo artist with songs like “Private Dancer,” ″River Deep, Mountain High,” “The Best” and “Proud Mary.”

“Tina” captured 12 Tony nominations, including an eventual best actress winning trophy for Adrienne Warren in the title role. Hall wrote the book with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins.

Two actors share the role of Turner on the road — Naomi Rodgers and Zurin Villanueva, each playing four of the eight performances a week. Also co-starring are Roderick Lawrence, Roz White, Carla R. Stewart and Lael Van Keuren.

Tour organizers realized by seeing Warren as Turner on Broadway that not just one actor could play the demanding role on the road, says Hall.

“We saw how hard it is on the body — It’s the physicality, it’s the singing, but it’s also just the emotional heft every night one has to put upon their shoulders and go through, two hours plus of the life of Tina Turner.”

Hall recalls finding out that Turner had died when she woke up with messages flooding her phone. Her mind went back to the time when Turner attended “Tina” on Broadway.

“When she walked through the door, to see people get on their feet and give her a standing ovation, I was so grateful that she was able to feel that energy and feel that love on the American side of the pond before she passed,” says Hall.

“I think it was just a beautiful gift that we were able to give her in that moment and to be in the room breathing with her and witnessing that love just showering down from the balcony.”


Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

United States News

This Aug. 17, 2021 photo shows Quagga mussels cover the engine of a Bell P-39 Airacobra military pl...

Associated Press

Historians race to find Great Lakes shipwrecks before quagga mussels destroy the sites

An invasive mussel is destroying shipwrecks deep in the depths of the lakes, forcing archeologists and amateur historians into a race against time to find as many sites as they can before the region touching eight U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario loses any physical trace of its centuries-long maritime history.

16 minutes ago

A sign marks a roadside rest stop that has been made to look like the historic security gate that a...

Associated Press

Birthplace of the atomic bomb braces for its biggest mission since the top-secret Manhattan Project

Los Alamos was the perfect spot for the U.S. government’s top-secret Manhattan Project.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Suspect arrested after shooting at the Oklahoma State Fair injures 1, police say

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One person was injured when shots were fired during an argument between two groups of people at the Oklahoma State Fair on Saturday, sending a crowd of people running for safety, police said. One person was arrested on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon after the evening shooting, Oklahoma […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Former NHL player Nicolas Kerdiles dies after a motorcycle crash in Nashville. He was 29

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former NHL player Nicolas Kerdiles died Saturday after a motorcycle crash in Nashville, according to police. He was 29. The one-time hockey player for the Anaheim Ducks drove his motorcycle through a stop sign early Saturday and hit the driver’s side of an SUV, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department. […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Hazing lawsuit filed against University of Alabama fraternity

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A student and his parents have filed a lawsuit against a University of Alabama fraternity, saying he suffered a traumatic brain injury while being hazed as a fraternity pledge earlier this year. The lawsuit filed last week accuses Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and others associated with it of fraud, negligence and […]

7 hours ago

This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. On Wedn...

Associated Press

NASA recovers asteroid samples in largest haul of material from beyond the moon

NASA’s first asteroid samples fetched from deep space parachuted into the Utah desert Sunday to cap a seven-year journey.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.

Tina Turner musical on national tour gains extra meaning in the wake of the rock icon’s death