Skip to content

A Tribute To The Late Great Rocker: “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” At the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, Saturday, October 19th, 2019, Reviewed

(Tina Turner died yesterday at the age of 83, she hadn’t toured since 2008 so rocknyc never got the opportunity to cover her. But we did cover her Broadway musical… )

In the past year we’ve had an onslaught of Broadway Musical bios, they come, they bomb sometimes and sometimes don’t (Cher and Donna Summer, only one of which was any good, are already toast, the Temptations is still knocking) and they all have the same thing going on: great songs, lousy books. “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” is the latest, and despite a Tony deserving lead performance by Adrienne Warren, isn’t all that good. Except, Adrienne is so great in the title role, such a powerful singer, so nuanced and intelligent. she saves it. It is hard to imagine anyone else in the role, ever. The force of personality, as she goes from Anna Mae Bullock to Tina, emerges from sixteen years as Ike Turner’s  punching board, all the way back to super stardom as a solo act. Act One is the Ike story, act two is Tina solo, and there is a mini Tina concert after the bows.

It begins with a bang, a prepubescent Tina interrupting a Baptist Church congregation with “Nutbush City Limits (she was born in Nutbush, Tennessee), than chases its tail in heavy duty narrative storytelling, before stopping the entire show dead with a “River Deep, Mountain High” that audience the audience on its feet. Finally, the penultimate song of the first act, “Proud Mary,” is as commanding as anything. Act Two gets all #metoo on your ass, and Katori Hall’s sense of Tina raising above abuse is too on the nadir, reaching its nadir when a Columbia executive calls Tina a has been  “n—-r”. I don’t find that remotely believable. And even if it is true, it does make dramatic sense. By the end, she regains her stardom (not at Live Aid with Mick Jagger, in front of 180K fans in Brazil) and falls in love, and gets a two million dollar signing bonus. There is only really Tina: Ike, her second husband, two managers, a mother and sister, none of them leave an impression in underdeveloped parts, The Temptation’s “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” had three major roles (four if you include Tammi Terrell), nobody else sticks to you in the slightest. In an essence de Jukebox Musical specialty, the book is beyond skimpy. The staging is unassuming till the finale, the finale looks great with a 3D effect that’s a thrill.

Tina is a great talent, no doubt (I saw her at Radio City Music Hall in 1997 and was suitably impressed) but her catalog is a little skimpy, five undoubted songs and that’s it, and while rest assured everything she sings remains sung forever (listen to her “Acid Queen”), a lot of the songs aren’t quite good enough (suffice to say “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” has not aged well), which is why she is singing “Disco Inferno”, and with nothing else to lean on, it gets a little boring.

All caveats notwithstanding, go and see it for Adrienne Warrens’ star making turn. She doesn’t imitate Tina, but she gets the tempo right, and when she needs to roar, she roars.

Grade: B

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top