Following an Olivier-nominated turn in London’s West End, Adrienne Warren returns stateside to headline the Broadway premiere of Tine: The Tina Turner Musical. Before previews begin at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre October 12, the Tony nominee, her co-stars, and the show’s creators met the press to share what it means to bring the rock-and-roll star’s music and story to life.
“I tell my friends, ‘Remind me that me speaking to Tina Turner is not a normal thing. That’s not normal,” says Warren, who has been involved with the musical since its workshop stages, first playing the role in front of a small group of creatives including Turner herself. “She’s taught me so much about being her, and also about being a stronger Adrienne. That’s what I’ve taken away from this process: In order to be her, I have to be the strongest me I can be.”
Tina uses the artist’s discography to tell her life story, from humble beginnings in Tennessee through a tumultuous relationship with Ike Turner to a monumental solo career. While audiences will likely be familiar with the tale of her overcoming abuse from her once-husband and controlling professional partner, director Phyllida Lloyd says this “was just the beginning of her trials.” The musical aims to additionally show what followed: “another 33 years on stage and years of racism, sexism, and ageism.
“She didn’t make her debut on a stadium stage until she was nearly 50,” explains Lloyd. “There’s an epic story of which people only know a small part of.”
Book writer Katori Hall identifies a key component of Turner’s spirit that paved the way for that epic story. “You have to live life with no fucks given,” she says. “[Tina] is going to live her truth; she is going to be who she is. I feel as though, ‘OK, I have an example as a woman—as a Black woman—as a Black woman from the South.’”
Watch the video above to hear more from the team. Tina is slated to officially open November 7.