16 November 2019 02:41
We partner with third party advertisers, who may use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on sites and applications across devices, both on our sites and across the Internet. You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA's Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our site. When producer Tali Pelman arrived for dinner with Tina Turner and husband Erwin Bach in Switzerland in 2014, their house was beautiful. "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" premiered in April 2018 in London's West End, earning an Olivier Award for lead actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Ike Turner and nominations for best musical and lead actress Adrienne Warren (who is reprising the title role in a Broadway production that opened last week).
The show's foundation was always clear to Pelman and Turner: a play where Turner would not be defined by the physical abuse inflicted by Ike, her husband and original musical partner. Adrienne Warner as the wigged lioness in "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical." (Manuel Harlan) "She is about to turn 80 and that was a 16-year period," Pelman says. "She had a second act in her life, making it back to the top as an African American woman in her 40s, and she has had an extraordinary big love with Erwin for more than 30 years." She and Turner also wanted to incorporate into the show one specific element of Turner's life: Buddhism. "She is a very spiritual person," Pelman says. Pelman, who had produced Katori Hall's hit play about Martin Luther King Jr., "The Mountaintop," brought Hall on to rewrite the book.
"Katori is, like Tina, from Tennessee, so she could channel Tina's voice," Pelman says. Hall found the first draft paid lip service to Turner's Buddhism without capturing its centrality or presenting it theatrically. The first version could have been interpreted as white men — manager Roger Davies and Bach — rescuing Turner from oblivion, Hall says. Watts is Ike Turner in "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical." (Manuel Harlan) Surprisingly, Hall felt one of her biggest responsibilities was to Ike Turner (played by Daniel J. "She tells women's stories like no one else and can turn on a dime from comedy to tragedy," Pelman says. ("I'm a great one for blind alleys," she says.) The original script had a straightforward flashback structure, but Hall and Lloyd tried assorted options before opening the show with Turner preparing to go onstage at the height of her 1980s comeback. Adrienne Warren and the company of "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical." (Manuel Harlan) One of the biggest challenges was choosing the right songs, Pelman says. One early scene replaces Ike Turner singing "The Hunter," a self-defining song that was perhaps too on the nose, with his influential "Rocket 88." It is often seen as the first rock record but also the experience that left him bitter. They also added Ike Turner performing "She Made My Blood Run Cold" at a club, where a teenage Anna Mae Bullock (Tina's real name) boldly sings with him and blows everyone away. "We felt like in London we fell too quickly into the pattern of violence, and we needed to see the electricity between Ike and Tina," Hall says. Hall cut a true story about how Turner stepped in at the last minute for a singer who didn't show on "A Fool in Love." Skye Turner is Anna Mae, the young Tina Turner, in "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical." (Manuel Harlan) On Broadway, it happens in a climactic scene where she reflects on her journey, joined by visions of her younger self (the girl playing the young Anna Mae) and her late grandmother, who raised her. "It was like a ceremony or a ritual," Lloyd says, adding that this change — the stage reincarnation of those two figures — reflected the strength Turner gained from Buddhism. Following in the footsteps of SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical, The Cher Show, and the rash of jukebox bios that have permeated Broadway over the past several years, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical pays homage to yet another pop-culture icon of the baby-boomer generation at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (which also housed SUMMER). As per the genre's established formula, the book (by Katori Hall, with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins) and music (by a roster of contemporary songwriters) recap the highs and lows of Turner's life and career (presented in association with the living legend herself) for a built-in audience of her fans (who can no longer enjoy live performances by the retired 80-year-old "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll"). Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, a large featured cast, ensemble, and orchestra (with music direction by Nicholas Skilbeck) trace the story, framed in the format of a memory play, of the eleven-time Grammy winner thinking back on her neglected and troubled childhood as Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, her violently abusive sixteen-year relationship and rise to fame with Ike Turner (who renamed her in his honor), and her ultimate triumph as a solo artist (purportedly selling more concert tickets than any one singer in history) and re-emergence as an emancipated woman, who took charge of her successful transformation and would no longer tolerate maltreatment from anyone. Warren is supported by the stellar Broadway debut of Skye Dakota Turner as the young Anna Mae, whose astonishingly strong and soulful voice is the equal to that of her real-life character. Interwoven with all of that is her blind ambition to make it in the business (though as the star attraction of The Ike & Tina Turner Revue she never got her paycheck or the respect she was due from him). Along with the entertainment value of its high-energy numbers, terrific performances, and eye-popping design, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical presents a disturbing example of the horrors of domestic abuse and the need for action in the face of it. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical plays an open-ended run, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre – 205 West 46th Street, NYC.