ARTS & CULTURE
By Anna Buie | Photos courtesy of Walton Arts Center
Celebrating the Life and Music of the
“Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”
Her voice is undeniable. Her fire is unstoppable. Her triumph is unlike any other. And it’s all being celebrated in an uplifting comeback story like no other. TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, coming to Walton Arts Center Dec. 12-17, will keep you dancing and singing all night long.
This musical is an inspiring story about Tina Turner, who broke barriers to become one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time with 12 Grammy Awards and millions of fans across the globe.
This triumphant new show follows Turner from her humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Turner started out performing in St. Louis bars before rising to fame in the ‘60s with her husband and bandmate, Ike. In the ‘70s, the world watched as she announced her divorce and released an autobiography detailing the struggles of their marriage. After navigating every roadblock life threw at her, Turner made a massive comeback in the ‘80s with soaring megahits, iconic red-carpet moments and more than 180 million records sold worldwide.
Katori Hall, one of the writers for the musical, explained how growing up on Turner’s music was preparing her whole life to write this musical. “To see Tina live was a gift that is gone, and so the musical is the best way to keep the theatricality of Tina’s own concerts, her life story and her influence alive,” Hall said.
While the beloved hits like “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” “River Deep – Mountain High,” “Shake a Tail Feather” and more are enough to carry the show, its real power is in portraying Tina the resilient woman, alongside Tina the performer.
“To see what this woman achieved in a life that others may have deemed non-important, to see this woman come from the middle of nowhere to being at a point where her impact will be felt for generations,” Hall said. “You can slay domestic abuse, you can slay the dragon of racism, and I want people to leave the theater feeling triumphant…There’s so much joy in having survived, and I want people to understand that no one can take your love and power from you.”
The musical premiered in April 2018 in London, where it gained five-star reviews and broke box office records. In November 2019, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical opened on Broadway where it was then nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including best musical.
This holiday season, there are a few opportunities to make your time at the theater “Simply the Best!” Walton Arts Center is rolling out the red carpet with a Broadway VIP Experience, including access to a private VIP room pre-show and intermission, two drinks of your choice, a dedicated paid bar, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and a themed photobooth. Tickets are $49 and are available for all performances of TINA – The Tina Turner Musical except Thursday and Sunday matinees.
You can also check out the drop-in festive wonderland, Winter Nights, when you come to a show. Winter Nights is open 6 p.m. until midnight Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Nov. 30 to Dec. 22. Featuring thousands of twinkling lights, live music and fun activations, this is the perfect place to grab a holiday-themed drink before the show or snap a quick picture with friends at the photobooth. Reserve your snow globe in advance, or choose walk-up seating indoors and out, which is always available.
Tickets to all shows and add-ons are available now at www.waltonartscenter.org, by calling (479) 443-5600 or by visiting the Walton Arts Center Box Office weekdays 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.