Review – TINA– The Tina Turner Musical

Ryan Irvin, Contributor

On Saturday, October 1st, I got the opportunity to see the national tour of TINA– The Tina Turner Musical during their two-week run at Boston’s Citizens Bank Opera House. TINA– The Tina Turner Musical tells the life story of the queen of rock and roll herself featuring her various hit songs including “Proud Mary” and “Disco Inferno.” I did not expect the show to have such a dark tone from the beginning, but those low moments made the show’s triumphs so much more satisfying. The show deals with several serious topics, such as domestic abuse, drug usage, and racism, which were all prominent challenges in Tina Turner’s life.

For the tour, the role of Tina Turner is shared by Naomi Rodgers and Zurin Villanueva. At my performance, I had the pleasure of seeing Zurin Villanueva and she owned the stage. Her voice effortlessly filled the entire theater, and she made all the intense dancing look easy. Gage Turner, playing Ike Turner, was committed completely to the role. Along with his powerful voice, every one of his character choices was perfectly thought out. As far as set design, the use of set pieces was minimal, giving the main focus to the show’s storytelling. The show’s band members were revealed on stage at the end, which gave the finale a fun concert feel.  The entire cast put all their energy into the show, which can be hard to do 8 times a week. The audience gave plenty of energy back, and it seemed that everyone in the theater was having a great time. 

Overall, TINA– The Tina Turner Musical is an empowering show that celebrates Tina Turner’s career in a beautiful way. In my experience, celebrities’ musical biopics can seem lazy as far as the production, music, and script, but TINA was a wonderful exception. I went into the show completely blind, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. If you are looking for an inspiring story of overcoming adversity, then TINA is a wonderful choice.