Showing posts with label James M. Nederlander Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James M. Nederlander Theatre. Show all posts

Thursday, March 16, 2023

REVIEW: TINA- THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at the James M. Nederlander Theatre Through April 2, 2023

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Produced in association with Tina Turner

Written by Tony Award nominee, Pulitzer Prize and Olivier Award-winner Katori Hall


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

"This is literally the best show I've ever seen." My friend, Teresa exclaimed as the audience rose en masse, for a rousing standing ovation, at the press opening for TINA- THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre. 

Bonnie Kenaz-Mara, and sisters Catherine and Teresa Hellmann, at the press opening of  TINA- THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre

The energy was palpable and the kudos well deserved. It's no easy feat playing a living legend, particularly one with powerhouse vocals and such a striking presence. Tina Turner's real life story is at once as tragic and triumphant as any Shakespearian masterpiece and Zurin Villanueva and Ari Groover share the role to bring this tale to life in style. We caught Villanueva on opening night and she was stunningly talented in this challenging role.

Zurin Villanueva as ‘Tina Turner’ and the cast of the North American touring production of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL. 

All Production Photos by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Ike Turner (Garrett Turner) is also exceptionally well played as the villain we loved to hate. Though his audacious abuse is hard to watch and may be triggering for some, it's a story that can't be glossed over, and a cautionary tale of toxic masculinity that's still all too common an occurrence. 

Garrett Turner as 'Ike Turner' and Roz White as 'Zelma'

In the early years and again at curtain call, accompanying her older self, Young Anna-Mae (Ayvah Johnson) stole the show with her incredible voice and a confidence far beyond her years. Roz White as Zelma Bullock, Lael Van Keuren as Rhonda, and particularly Ann Nesby as Gran Georgeanna are standouts as well

Ayvah Johnson as 'Young Anna-Mae' and the cast of the North American touring production of 


Zurin Villanueva as ‘Tina Turner’ and Ann Nesby as 'Gran Georgeanna' 

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.

It's a joy to see a rags to riches story this empowering, where Anna-Mae/Tina, a child abandoned by both parents, a young woman physically and psychologically abused by her husband, and a single, middle aged mom struggling to make a comeback in a racist, sexist, agest industry, not only survives but thrives. Don't miss this! ★★★★ Four out of four stars.

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, artist, and Mama to 2 amazing adults. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

Photo Credit: B. Kenaz-Mara

"Writer Katori Hall has created A MUSICAL THEATER MASTERPIECE.” 

– Amsterdam News

TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, the electrifying production produced in association with Tina Turner and written by Katori Hall is now playing a limited engagement at the James M. Nederlander Theatre through April 2, 2023. Tickets are on sale at Additional ticket information and the performance schedule are below. 

The cast is led by Zurin Villanueva (The Lion King, Mean Girls, Shuffle Along, The Book of Mormon) and Ari Groover (TINA Broadway, Head Over Heels, Holler If Ya Hear Me) who will evenly share the role of Tina Turner, each playing four (of eight) performances a week. Groover will play the full run in Chicago, stepping in for Naomi Rodgers who is on a temporary leave from the show. Also starring are Garrett Turner as Ike Turner, Roz White as Zelma Bullock, Ann Nesby as Gran Georgeanna and Lael Van Keuren as Rhonda. 

Ann Nesby as 'Gran Georgeanna' 

All Production Photos by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade 


A story that needs to be shared, especially today.” 

– ABC News

The ensemble includes Daelyanna Kelly Benson, Antonio Beverly, Taylor A. Blackman, Karen Burthwright, Aliyah Caldwell, Lillian Charles, Max Falls, Zachary Freier-Harrison,  Reyna Guerra, Gordia Hayes,  Andre Hinds, Takia Hopson, Ayvah Johnson, Geoffrey Kidwell, Parris Mone’t Lewis, Nia Nelson-Williams, Gracie Phillips, Nicole Powell, Terance Reddick, Shari Washington Rhone, Jacob Roberts-Miller, Aniya Simone, Chris Stevens, Jeff Sullivan, and Carlton Terrence Taylor. 

“It has been years since I toured the US and I am very excited that my own musical can now bring my music and story to my fans in their home cities across America. It’s a homecoming and that is very special to me,” said Tina Turner.

“We are delighted to begin this next chapter for TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL. The North American tour will see the show enjoy its sixth production around the world since opening in the West End in 2018, which is testimony to Tina’s extraordinary legacy. This tour clearly has special resonance for Tina herself, and now more than ever we can’t wait to uplift audiences across America with her joyful and triumphant story," the producers, Tali Pelman from Stage Entertainment and Jimmy Nederlander said. “We can’t wait to introduce America to the two megawatt superstars—Ari Groover and Zurin Villanueva — who will share the role of Tina, Garrett Turner in the role of Ike, and the incredibly talented company who are hitting the road on tour!"

Garrett Turner as 'Ike Turner'


– The Daily Beast

Produced by Stage Entertainment, James L. Nederlander and Tali Pelman, in association with Tina Turner, TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL was 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, musical Music Supervision, Arrangements & Incidental Music by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Tony Award nominee Bruno Poet, sound by Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg, projection design by Tony Award nominee Jeff Sugg, orchestrations by Tony Award nominee Ethan Popp, wigs, hair and makeup design by Drama Desk Award winner Campbell Young Associates, and casting by The Telsey Office.  


– NY Times

Zurin Villanueva performing _Higher_ as ‘Tina Turner’ and the cast of the North American touring production of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL.


An uplifting comeback story like no other, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical is the inspiring journey of a woman who broke barriers and became the Queen of Rock n’ Roll.  

Zurin Villanueva as ‘Tina Turner’ and the cast of the North American touring production of 


This new musical, based on the life of legendary artist Tina Turner and presented in association with Tina Turner herself, received its world premiere in April 2018 in London, where it opened to five-star reviews and has broken box office records at the Aldwych Theatre. In March 2019, the German production opened at Stage Operettenhaus in Hamburg, and the Dutch production opened at the Beatrix Theater, Utrecht, in February 2020. A third European production opened in the Fall of 2021 at the Teatro Coliseum in Madrid, Spain.

TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL originally opened on Broadway on November 7, 2019, and was nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The production reopened at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on October 8, 2021, following the 18-month industry-wide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Broadway production ended performances Sunday, August 14.

Produced by Stage Entertainment and Ghostlight Records and featuring the original London cast, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical: Original Cast Recording is available worldwide on CD, both online and in stores. The CD features a 20-page booklet, which includes liner notes, synopsis, and production and studio photography. The album was recorded in February 2019 at Angel Studios and RAK Studios, produced by the show’s Music Supervisor Nicholas Skilbeck and Kurt Deutsch and co-produced by Tom Kelly. To download or stream the album or order the CD, please visit

When she was inducted into the Rock & 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).

Garrett Turner as 'Ike Turner'

Zurin Villanueva performing as ‘Tina Turner’ and Garrett Turner as 'Ike Turner'

The Emmy-nominated feature documentary TINA is now available to stream on HBO Max. A revealing and intimate look at the life and career of musical icon Tina Turner, TINA charts her improbable rise to early fame, her personal and professional struggles throughout her life, and her even more improbable resurgence as a global phenomenon in the 1980s. The feature documentary is from Academy Award-winning directors Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin, and Lightbox, the production company founded by Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn, together with Emmy-nominated producer Diane Becker.


Ticket prices range from $52.50 -$152.50 with a select number of premium tickets available. Individual tickets are available by visiting, or going to any Broadway In Chicago venue box office. Tickets are available for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing

Follow @TinaBroadway on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 22 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District, entertaining up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop, including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.

For more information, visit

Follow @broadwayinchicago on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok

@broadwaychicago on Twitter



Zurin Villanueva as ‘Tina Turner’ in the North American touring production of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL.

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