Image courtesy Dr. Phillips Centre
‘Tina: The Tina Turner Musical’ operates at the Dr. Phil via Jan. 15
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical opened in Manhattan in late 2019, years soon after many of the “Queen of Rock & Roll”’s paler and/or maler peers experienced presently been immortalized as jukebox musicals.
With a compelling everyday living story and vintage musical catalogue, Turner deserves a bio-musical as good as Jersey Boys or Gorgeous. But even however the touring business checking out Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Centre via Jan. 15 arrives direct from the Good White Way — in which the clearly show just shut final August — and offers a blazing lead effectiveness, Tina fails to acquire Turner’s triumphant tale increased on phase than the Oscar-nominated movie What’s Like Obtained to Do With It? did on display again in 1993.
The show starts off off with excellent guarantee, as director Phyllida Lloyd phases a gripping dreamlike sequence established to “Sound of Mystic Law” and “Nutbush Metropolis Limits,” showing how the spirited youthful Anna-Mae Bullock (Ayvah Johnson) experienced an abusive father, and was abandoned by her mom (Roz White) to be elevated by her gentle Gran (Ann Nesby) in rural Tennessee.
And the phase commences to smolder as soon as the teenage Tina-to-be (Zurin Villanueva on opening evening, alternating performances with Naomi Rodgers) methods up to the mic alongside Ike Turner (Garrett Turner) to belt out a crimson-incredibly hot rendition of “She Created My Blood Run Cold.”
Sad to say, issues get started to slide south as shortly as Ike hits Tina for the initially time, as sloppy slapstick phase combat and gratuitous profanity derail the show’s extraordinary affect, dragging it down into unintentionally comic cable-Television set melodrama.
The musical, by acclaimed playwright Katori Corridor (with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins), at times provides bracing flashes of uncooked humanity, significantly in Turner’s way too-infrequent interactions with her sister Alline (Parris Lewis). But it dispenses them unevenly, in stingy spurts. Turner’s vital romantic relationship with her mom isn’t really explored until the 11th hour, and her second-chance romance with German producer Erwin Bach (Max Falls) generates zero sparks.
Villanueva was vibrant on opening night, delivering an amazing perception of Turner’s soulful vocals and kinetic choreography (as recreated by Anthony Van Laast) that electrified the re-creations of her legendary hits, these as “River Deep Mountain High” and “Proud Mary.” But her tempestuous romantic relationship with Turner’s Ike hardly ever rings correct his cartoonish villainy undermines any empathy or charisma that may possibly describe her self-harmful dependence on him, lowering Tina to a cautionary sufferer in a motion picture-of-the-week.
And it doesn’t help that Turner’s musical catalog feels awkwardly shoehorned into this headlong blitz by her biography, with songs that pressure to combine lyrically or chronologically into the action or that Jeff Sugg’s comfortable-concentrate inventory footage projections (performing the major lifting for Mark Thompson’s barely-there sets) make the stage seem like a large screensaver.
There are moments of pure musical magic when Tina’s 1st-rate band (carried out by Anne Shuttlesworth) and hardworking solid target on shelling out tribute to her timeless tracks, like all through an explosive encore mini-live performance that is the evening’s emphasize. But the unconvincing drama among the tunes hardly ever does full justice to Turner’s brave journey.
Followers of Tina Turner’s music will obtain a lot of common favorites to clap alongside to, but I’d somewhat see Villanueva and company simply just belt out the setlist, and prevent bothering with this script.
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