Kansas City Theater Review: “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical”


  • The Music Hall – Kansas City, Missouri
  • December 5, 2023


I first fell in love with Tina Turner as a 15 year old boy after seeing her in the film “Tommy.”  I didn’t know I was in love until she rocketed back to stardom in the early 80s.  Then I was hooked.  I went to her shows, bought her albums and tried to devise a way to ask her to marry me.  My crush on her was so powerful that when she sadly passed away earlier this year, friends who I hadn’t heard from in years sent me condolence messages.  Which brings me to this week at the Music Hall in Kansas City where I attended opening night of TINA: The Tina Turner Musical.”


Opening with a gospel themed rendition of “Nutbush City Limits,” “TINA” is a nearly three-hour journey into the often tragic life of one of the most powerful voices in rock and roll history.


For those unfamiliar with the story, Anna Mae Bullick left her Tennessee home to join her sister Alline in St. Louis.  There she met Ike Turner a musician with a bad temper.  As the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, they toured the country, appearing in concert and on television.  However, behind the scenes, it was a living hell.

Parris Lewis

A show is only as good as its cast, and the cast of “TINA” was amazing.  Every character has a chance to shine, from young Anna Mae to the hard dancing Ikettes.  I apologize her for not naming the young actress who played Anna Mae.  There are two young ladies playing the roll and there was nothing inserted into the “Playbill” to tell me which one it was.  Whoever you are, young lady, you were amazing.


It’s a testament to the talents of actor Wildlin Pierrevil that, when he took his curtanin call as Ike Tuner, some in the audience booed him.  Not the performance, mind you, but Ike Turner the man.


There are also two actresses playing Tina Turner, and this performance featured Parris Lewis, who seemed to have absorbed Tina Turner into her DNA as she gave one of the best performances I have seen on stage this year.  Brava!!


I will warn readers who may hope to influence the younger generation with Tina’s music by taking them to the show, it does get a little dark thematically at times.  It’s well documented that Ike Turner was an SOB, and there are scenes of domestic violence that had the audience cringing.  However, it’s those early scenes that make Tina’s triumphs even sweeter.  She really was, as she sang, Simply the Best!


On a scale of zero to five, I give “TINA: The Tina Turner Musical” ★★★★★


“TINA: The Tina Turner Musical” runs in Kansas City through December 9th.  For tickets to these or future shows, please click HERE.


To check out my interview with actresses Parris Lewis and Ari Groover, please clickHERE.



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