There are expectations when bringing well-known songs to a musical setting, even though a jukebox musical may not be a rock concert. In the case of Tina, The Tina Turner Musical, an icon’s journey is represented by more than simply tastefully chosen songs that reflect her life’s highs and lows. The main lesson to be learned from this musical is that women may and should speak up because they have a right to be heard.
This musical, which follows Tina Turner’s development from Grammy-winning Anna Mae Bullock to Tina Turner, never loses sight of the real-life singer who inspired the timeless tunes. Even while some people may have grown up listening to those 1980s tunes or the Ike and Tina documentary influenced R&B, the audience is affected by more than just the melody. It serves as a reminder that pursuing your dreams is worthwhile even when times are tough.
A young Anna Mae receives criticism for her loud singing when Tina begins. Although such criticism could come off as harsh, it actually serves as a theme that runs throughout the superstar’s narrative. Tina had to abandon the stillness and accept, or even celebrate, her loudness, whether it was in response to Ike Turner’s abuse or in an effort to recover her status as a relevant musician. A voiceless woman will never be powerful.
The impressive National Tour cast demonstrates presence and strength unmistakably. Zurin Villanueva, who plays Tina and is one of the tour’s leading ladies, commanded the stage at a recent performance at the Dr. Phillips Center. The big belting numbers are what had everyone enthralled, even though she managed to replicate the subtle harshness Turner’s voice employs. Villanueva managed to keep everyone’s attention by juggling the fear, desire, and brazenness that come with being a celebrity. Even if the finale of “Young Anna Mae” may make viewers cry, this program is a showcase for Villanueva’s abilities.
The sadness and even heartbreak in many of Tina’s renowned songs will never overwhelm the happiness that music can and will provide, even though there are many jarring moments that cause the audience to gasp and flinch due to the violent relationships. The river is deep and the mountain high, but the view that is filled with harmony and fulfillment is worth the journey, to paraphrase the lyrics of one of her most well-known songs.
Everyone is familiar with the songs and stories, yet there is a desire to appreciate the musical experience for what it is. The plot may include a few awkward songs and scenes, but everyone is looking forward to the huge payoff. It appears in the conclusion and encore in this instance. It’s time to applaud, dance, put the world to rights, and let the music wash over you. There is no doubt that the Tina Turner Musical’s conclusion and encore leave the audience wanting more.
The reality is that musicals, especially jukebox musicals, can serve as a retrospective of music and culture. Musical theater has undergone transition or modernisation from bucolic protagonists bursting into song to queens who rock and founding fathers who rap. The song that plays in the head like an old friend rather than the events of the past are not out of date.
The Tina Turner Musical is an enjoyable evening of theater regardless of whether the audience had previously witnessed Tina Turner dance her way across a stage or seen or read her biographical biography. One reason to buy a ticket is the fantastic music, which serves as both a warning and an inspire in equal measure.