Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Tina The Musical EXPLODES into Atlanta!



I was sitting in The Fox Theatre last night trying to imagine how I was going to write this review today.  Wondering what adjectives I could possibly use that would evoke the energy level this show gives to its audiences.

I'm not really sure there are any.

You guys know me.  I don't work for the biggest newspaper and I'm not an esteemed musical critic.  But, I am your local girl representing you and helping you decide where you should spend your hard-earned entertainment dollars.

And I will say this - this musical extravaganza...this EXPLOSION of talent and choreography is one show you will definitely walk away saying, "THAT was worth every penny!"

Tina The Tina Turner Musical is an acceptable outing for your entire family.  However, keep in mind that I believe it is more age-appropriate for middle-school ages and up.  There are sexual references (no nudity or explicit sex scenes) and a splattering of cuss words.  Other than than, it is just Tina Turner's autobiography and of course - her MUSIC.

The writers of this show have flawlessly woven Tina's music songbook into her story.  Her music is  inserted where they are applicable to very specific moments in her life.

Keep in mind, also, that if you bring children - you might want to talk to them ahead of time.  Ike was not a good man.  He was all ways.  Tina's father was abusive as well.  We do have some scenes where we see physical fighting between husbands and wives and a few with the children.

If your children are not familiar with domestic abuse, a small talk ahead of time might be necessary.

Tina's life, like so many other entertainers, started in the church.  What she experienced in the church was in direct opposition to what she experienced at home.  Church represented worship and happiness, love and acceptance.  Life at home represented condemnation and sadness and isolation and abuse.

Tina's Mother escaped her abusive husband and home and left with Tina's older sister, leaving Tina at home with an abusive Father.  Tina eventually ended up living with her Grandmother who encouraged Tina to move to St. Louis and back to a life with her Mother and sister.

It was the move that would change her life.

In St. Louis, Tina met and eventually married Ike Turner, changing her name from her given name (Anna-Mae) to the now iconic Tina.

Tina The Tina Turner Musical tells the history of Tina's life and how she rose to such historic levels of fame.  To date, Tina has had 25 Grammy nominations, 8 Grammy wins, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  An amazing feat for a woman that faced racism and ageism along the path to success.

Keep in mind if you go, the lines will be long.  On opening night, lines to get into The Fox Theatre spanned several blocks, in both directions.  I haven't seen lines like that ever.  (I've heard rumors that they rivaled Hamilton's entrance lines.)

You will need to be in your seat before curtain call or you will miss the first set and about 10-15 minutes of the musical.  Arrive early to give yourself plenty of time to park and get inside.

One other thing to keep in mind, there are two actresses playing the role of Tina -- Naomi Rodgers and Zurin Villanueva.  Opening night belonged (and was owned by) Zurin.  She is absolutely fabulous and incredible.  So much talent!  I am positive  Naomi will be just as powerful tonight.

Other stellar performers include Garrett Turner as Ike Turner, Ann Nesby as Gran, and Roz White as Rhonda.  I could go on and on, naming every single actor in this musical - from the the Ikettes to Erwin Bach.  Just a fabulous, fabulous ensemble.

Now - let's wrap this review up with a big bang.

Buy your tickets, and then get your dancing shoes on because after the curtain call, guess what?  AN ENCORE!  During opening night, our entire audience sprung to their feet, cheered, and sang and danced along to Proud Mary and other classic Tina hits.  And the absolute cherry on top of the encore - in my opinion - was when Zurin called out Young Anna-Mae played by Ayvah Johnson.  Wow!  This little 9-year old had us astounded with her abilities, her clarity of voice, and the sheer power that voice possessed.  

I've seen a lot of musicals and a lot of young performers in my lifetime.  I'm not sure I've quite ever seen a little dynamo and powerhouse like Ayvah represents.  This girl will be fun to watch on social media as she grows and fills her resume.  All this to say - keep your seat and don't leave at curtain call - the encore is not to be missed!

All in all, an incredible night!  There are just no adjectives (as I started out saying above...) I can use to fully encompass and envelop the night.  It is most definitely BIG fun, BIG storylines, and BIG talent.  GO.  Don't let this one slip through your fingers.

Huge thanks to Broadway in Atlanta, Regions Bank, and BravePR for our wonderful evening.  We danced and sang the night away.

Tickets for the remaining performances are still available at The Fox Box Office, by phone, and via their website.

*Promotional seats were provided to me for my nonbiased review and promotion of this show.  All opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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