The great musical icon Tina Turner tragically died today aged 83 (May 25, 2023). We pay our respects to her and her incredible achievements both as a singer and a woman who survived domestic violence. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tina in the nineties when she was living in her home in the South of France. She had her very own Greek style musical ampitheatre which looked out to the sea. Tina also had a live in Thai chef – and was a devout Buddhist. This was her second home as she had another residence in Switzerland.
Tina, you will be missed but never forgotten. I can still hear your music being sung so beautifully at the Tina Turner Musical which I so much enjoyed. You can read my review below.
From the moment she struts on stage to the final two songs and standing or rather dancing ovation, the talented Ruva Ngwenya was simply the best.
Starring as legendary Tina Turner in the award winning TINA – The Tina Turner Musical at the Theatre Royal Sydney’s recent premiere, Ngwenya sang and danced her way through 23 iconic songs from What’s Love Got To Do With It, to Nutbush and Proud Mary.
The story of Tina Turner’s life is the music industry’s all time biggest come back. It’s a story of resilience and demonstrates the strength of a woman who overcame domestic violence and against the odds became the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Ngwenya was a force of nature as she shimmied and sang her heart out to Tina’s much loved songs. Ngwenya stole the show with her high energy performance from start to finish. Incredibly, this was the singer’s first lead performance having previously appeared in 2013 as Shenzi in The Lion King followed by We Will Rock You, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Ragtime and more recently Moulin Rouge The Musical.
Produced by Paul Dainty AO/TEG DAINTY in special collaboration with Stage Entertainment, Tali Pelman and Tina Turner herself, the musical has won 37 global awards to date, and is a faithful retelling of Tina’s extraordinary life.
The role of Ike Turner is brilliantly played by Australian multi-platinum selling performer, Tim Omaji.
The cast also includes principals an inspiring performance by Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy as Tina Turner alternate, Ibinabo Jack playing Tina’s mother Zelma Bullock, Deni Gordon as Tina’s Grandmother Gran Georgeanna (GG) and Nadia Komazec as Ike and Tina’s manager Rhonda Graam.
Jayme-Lee Hanekom plays Tina’s sister Alline Bullock and one of the Ikettes, Augie Tchantcho plays Tina’s father Richard Bullock, Rishab Kern as Tina’s first love Raymond Hill, Matthew Prime as record company Marketing Manager Erwin Bach, and Mat Verevis as Tina’s Australian Manager Roger Davies, who was instrumental in changing the direction of her life.
John O’Hara plays Record Producer Phil Spector who helped coach Tina to bring the best out of her voice with his wall of sound.
Written by Tony Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize winner Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical is directed by Tony Award nominee Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Tony Award nominee Anthony van Laast, set and costume designs by Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson.
The result of this combined talent is an electric show which deservedly had the longest standing ovation I’ve ever witnessed. If you only watch one musical this year, make it this one. It’s first class – and it’s the closest you’ll ever feeling like you are there dancing with Tina Turner herself.
The Story Behind TINA – The Tina Turner Musical
This new musical based on the life of legendary artist Tina Turner was actually produced in association with Tina Turner herself.
It received its world premiere in April 2018 in London’s West End, where it opened to five-star reviews and continues to break box office records at the Aldwych Theatre. In March 2019, the German production opened at Stage Operettenhaus in Hamburg, the Broadway production followed in November 2019 and was nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The Dutch production opened at the Beatrix Theater, Utrecht, in February 2020. A third European production opened in Fall 2021 at the Teatro Coliseum in Madrid, Spain and the North American Tour commenced in September 2022. In 2023 alongside the Australian production, there will be another European Production in Stuttgart, Germany opening this month.
Tina Turner – the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll
One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history. When she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in October, 2021, Tina Turner became one of only three women in the institution’s history to be inducted twice (she was initially inducted in 1991, alongside Ike Turner).
A new release of tickets, through to 22 October, 2023, is on sale now here: www.tinathemusical.com.au