Naomi Rodgers is one of two actresses cast in the titular role of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”
By Grant Hoover
Broadway In Tucson is bringing the Tony Award-winning “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” to Centennial Hall Tuesday, Oct. 3-Sunday, Oct. 8.
The jukebox biopic of Turner, who died in May at the age of 83, retraces the story of her childhood in rural Tennessee to her early work as one half of the musical duo “Ike & Tina Turner” and eventual pursuit of a wildly successful solo career.
It also tells the story of the abuse Turner suffered at the hands of her first husband and early musical collaborator Ike Turner.
Broadway In Tucson’s General Manager Mario Di Vetta said that in addition to getting to hear Turner’s life story, audiences “will be getting the songs that people love, like ‘Proud Mary,’ ‘The Best’ and ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’.”
“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” is one of three biographical jukebox musicals being presented by Broadway In Tucson during its 2023-2024 season, which kicked off in September with Disney’s “Aladdin” and the return of “The Book of Mormon.”
In November, Broadway In Tucson brings “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” to Centennial followed by “MJ: The Musical” in April, exploring the music and a slice of the life of Michael Jackson.
The performances next week at Centennial Hall will be the second stop on a nationwide tour of “Tina” that runs through August 2024. The original Broadway show, which won a Tony Award for its leading actress Adrienne Warren, premiered in November 2019.
In an unusual move for stage musicals, two performers are cast in the titular role for “Tina” — Ari Groover and Naomi Rodgers. Each will be featured in four performances in the eight-show Tucson run.
The decision to split the role can be attributed to the show’s attempt to recreate the physical intensity that the woman dubbed “the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” brought to the stage as a singer and dancer, which University of Arizona School of Dance Director Duane Cyrus said made Turner “a groundbreaking performer who was a stunning example of a powerful, beautiful woman.”
While audiences can look forward to performances of many of the songs that made Turner famous, the show also features content that highlights some of the struggles Turner endured in her life that may not be appropriate for all audiences, including racist language and depictions of domestic abuse. Because of this sensitive content, Broadway In Tucson has recommended it for ages 14 and up.
Audience members with hearing impairments can catch the ASL-interpreted performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct 7.
If You Go:
What: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Presented By: Broadway In Tucson
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3,-Thursday Oct. 5
8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6
2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7
1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday Oct. 8
Where: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., on the University of Arizona campus
Tickets: $40 to $192 through ticketmaster.com
El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism