There’s only one Tina Turner in this world, but you’d be forgiven for doubting that reality after seeing “TINA – The Tina Turner Musical’ now playing at the National Theatre. The actor who plays the role of Tina (Naomi Rogers) has mastered Turner’s signature dance moves beautifully and her unique vocal quality in a score that includes the legend’s most popular songs.
Tina Turner fans cannot afford to miss this production.
With a book by Olivier-Award winning playwright, Katori Hall (with Frank Kettelaar and Kees Prins), the story charts Turner’s life—from neglected child to successful singer, to battered wife, and finally, superstardom. Turner’s husband, Ike Turner (Garrett Turner), fills the lion’s share of the story’s first half. Little more than a narcissistic brute, Ike’s name has long been synonymous with “wife beater” and this musical cements that view. Beyond her involvement with Ike, we are introduced to the people who played significant roles in her career and personal life, providing a brief glimpse into the highs she experienced as well as the painful hardships she endured.
Rogers’ Tina was authentic and endearing as well as ambitious and determined. Ike (Turner) played his role so well that some in the audience actually booed when he took his bows. Other notable performances included Gran Georgeanna (Ann Nesby), the woman who raised Turner, Erwin Bach (Max Falls), the German record producer who falls in love with Turner, and of course, the talented children in the cast, young Anna-Mae (Ayvah Johnson), and young Alline and young Craig (Lillian Charles), who demonstrated stage presence and vocal power well beyond their years.
The set includes a humble kitchen in Nutbush, Tennessee, where Turner spent her childhood in poverty, theatres across the country, a Vegas stage, and a Tina Turner concert that breaks world attendance records. Many of the songs for which Turner won 12 Grammy Awards are featured in the show, including “Proud Mary,” “Private Dancer,” and “What’s Love Got to do With It.” The production ends with a raucous “Simply the Best’ that saw the audience rise to their feet amidst a spectacular light show.
Tina Turner fans cannot afford to miss this production. The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll is now retired from the stage and living in Switzerland, making “TINA – The Tina Turner Musical” your one and only opportunity to relive the glory years of this global rock phenomenon.
Running Time: Approximately two hours and 45 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.
Advisory: Recommended for ages 14 and up.
“TINA – The Tina Turner Musical’ runs through October 23, 2022, at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Masks are strongly recommended but not required for all ticketholders.