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Tina Turner attends Broadway opening of ‘Tina’ musical

10 November 2019

Adrienne Warren is bringing the legacy of rock icon Tina Turner to Broadway, after her stunning performance in London.

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It's a thrill to watch her claim her musical turf and stand her ground. A solace that gave her the strength to fight back and finally leave Ike. Mediocrity surrounds her at every turn: an overstretched narrative that, in trying to span more than three decades of personal and artistic history, feels both rushed and overlong; a time line that is often confusing; dialogue that is rarely more than functional when it doesn't sink into corn ("You know, Carpenter, you always said I had a good ear, but, you know, I have a good nose, too... for bullshit"). A modest standout in the 2016 George Wolfe extravaganza "Shuffle Along", Warren busts out into full stardom here, doing Tina proud. "Nutbush City Limits" finds young Anna Mae (before Ike named her Tina) at home in Tennessee with her nurturing grandmother (Myra Lucretia Taylor, warm as fresh biscuits), who encourages her to spread her wings and bids her a sweet and sad farewell in "Don't Turn Around". She's more tightly controlled than the real-life Turner; her movement is sharper, her vocals less raspy, and she barely seems to break a sweat.

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Hall is not only the lead book writer but a co-producer of the musical. (For a definition of vulgarity, see Mark Thompson's sets and costumes.) But the show doesn't really hit the rafters until Tina is in her 40s, industry poison and on the professional rocks. (It's also incredible to note that this is her first musical!) Well, Hall definitely has a solid hit here. "After more than 50 years of performing I don't need a musical, I don't need another show".

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Warren, 32, played Turner when it debuted in the West End, and transfers with the production to Broadway. I mean, this little girl can S-I-N-G! She's electrifying - and after almost three overstuffed hours, it felt great, at last, to be breathless for all the right reasons. "And believe me, by the time you hear "(Simply) The Best" there is no doubt in your mind that those words describe Warren and the entire experience of witnessing "Tina". "Rocket 88" and "She Made My Blood Run Cold" tell us all we need to know about the grasping Ike Turner (Daniel J. Watts, undone by the character's meanness), Mr. She is one of the favorite, evergreen, all-time singers. After seeing "Tina" you realize "We Don't Need Another Hero" because she's already here! And the way Warren tears through Tina's musical numbers here is rarely less than spectacular: nearly every song, from "Nutbush City Limits", and "River Deep Mountain High" to "We Don't Need Another Hero", hits some kind of goosebump apex; several Turner recordings originated by other artists are thrown into the mix too: Al Green's "Let's Stay Together", Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain".

Tina Turner attends Broadway opening of ‘Tina’ musical