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The Tina Turner musical is presented for the first time in Philadelphia. Photo: Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
The Tina Turner musical will be performed for the first time in Philadelphia. Photo: Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Tina Turner musical runs in Philadelphia for the first time

The musical from the rock and roll legend will be on the stage from Nov. 22 to Dec. 4 at the Kimmel Cultural Campus in Philadelphia.

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Tina – The Tina Turner Musical wants to tell the story of a woman who broke barriers, became the Queen of Rock n' Roll, won 12 Grammy Awards, and is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

“Tina Turner is a true star and entertainer whose story we are excited to bring to Philadelphia for the first time. Covering her childhood, marriage, career and mega-stardom, this new musical will captivate audiences and inspire everyone with her story of resilience and determination,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. in a statement. 

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.

The musical is directed by Tony Award nominee Phyllida Lloyd with choreography by Tony Award nominee Anthony van Laast, set design and costumes by Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson, music supervision, additional music and arrangement by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Tony nominee Bruno Poet, sound by Tony nominee Nevin Steinberg, projection design by Tony nominee Jeff Sugg, orchestrations by Tony nominee Ethan Popp, wig, hair and makeup design by Drama Desk Award winner Campbell Young Associates, and casting by The Telsey Office.

The cast is led by Naomi Rodgers (known for Frozen) and Zurin Villanueva (known for The Lion King, Mean Girls, Shuffle Along, The Book of Mormon), who will share the role of Tina Turner. The production also stars Garrett Turner as Ike Turner, Roz White as Zelma Bullock, Ann Nesby as Big Georgeanna and Lael Van Keuren as Rhonda.  

The ensemble includes Daelyanna Kelly Benson, Antonio Beverly, Taylor A. Blackman, 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.

“The most challenging part of being cast in Tina Turner is also the most rewarding. I play one of the Ikettes and for the whole of act 1 I am on stage with hardly any pauses in between. Doing such a physically and vocally demanding show 8 times a week strengthens my resistance and pushes me to work harder," Reyna Guerra told AL DÍA.

This new musical, presented in association with Tina Turner herself, had its world premiere in April 2018 in London, where it broke box office records. In March 2019, the German production opened at Stage Operettenhaus in Hamburg and the Dutch production opened at the Beatrix Theatre, Utrecht, in February 2020. A third European production opened in autumn 2021 at the Teatro Coliseum in Madrid, in Spain.

The musical, nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, will run at Philadelphia's Kimmel Cultural Campus from Nov. 22 to Dec. 4 as part of the Broadway series. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. 

“Tina Turner and her life story are unforgettable. This musical is inspiring, funny, riveting and sometimes hard to watch, but it’s a story that could potentially change lives. I encourage everyone to come to see it, from the ones who admired her deeply to the others who have never heard from her before,” Guerra said. 

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