Dallas witnesses the arrival of another jukebox musical as “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” takes center stage at Fair Park Music Hall.
This musical extravaganza offers an energetic portrayal of Tina Turner’s remarkable journey from her humble Tennessee beginnings to international stardom.
Born as Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, Tina overcame a turbulent family history to join the Ike and Tina Turner Revue at just 17.
However, her path to success was marred by two decades of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Ike Turner, her bandleader turned husband.
The musical, featuring a book by Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar, and Kees Prins, relies entirely on Tina Turner’s discography for its music and lyrics.
While the narrative covers Tina’s rise to fame, her struggles, and her international success, it falls short of capturing the intimate moments that defined Tina Turner herself.
Running close to three hours, the show, despite its chronological approach, leaves the audience craving a deeper connection to Tina’s personal journey.
Ari Groover and Parris Lewis, portraying Tina Turner, bring their athleticism and powerful vocals to carry the production through its runtime.
The musical unfolds with Tina preparing for her solo debut in Brazil, offering glimpses into her past through flashbacks to her childhood church in 1950s Tennessee.
The production is marked by significant moments in Tina’s life, including her escape from Ike at the Statler Hotel, a historical event deeply embedded in Dallas’ history.
Fair Park Music Hall, with its capacity to seat over 3,000 people, amplifies the viewing experience. The ensemble, led by Symphony King as Young Anna-Mae Bullock, delivers a powerful performance, particularly in scenes depicting Tina’s early life in Tennessee.
The narrative introduces the cycle of abusive relationships in Tina’s life, from her parents to Ike Turner.
Scenes depicting Ike’s control over Tina and their tumultuous journey through the music industry are gripping and intense.
As the story progresses, Tina’s solo career emerges, marked by struggles against Ike’s attempts to withhold her earnings and hinder her independence.
The musical captures Tina’s triumphant moments, especially when she starts recording with Capitol Records in Europe and finds love with Erwin Bach.
Despite its educational and entertainment value, “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” falls short of providing a clear point of view for its characters. The audience is left entertained but yearning for a more nuanced understanding of Tina Turner’s perspective.
Nevertheless, the musical succeeds in transporting the audience to the 1970s with its vibrant reenactments, capturing the glamour, flared jumpsuits, and mesmerizing dance numbers of the era.
The show concludes with a standing ovation, accompanied by the timeless hit “Simply The Best” and two encore numbers, leaving Dallas enthralled by Tina’s enduring legacy.