Reviewed by Mark Grier, BLAC Correspondent

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical made its way to the Detroit Opera House and remain until Dec 18, 2022. The musical reveals a comeback story like no other, of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of abandonment, sponsal abuse, racism, sexism and ageism to become the global Queen of Rock n’ Roll. Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is a celebration of resilience and an inspiration of triumph over adversity. It covers her relationships with her mother, father, Ike, grandmother, sons, and Erwin Bach, Tina’s husband.

Zurin Villanueva as ‘Tina Turner’ of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL. Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade.

Buddha Chant

The play starts out from a spiritual point of view with Tina as grown women praying her Buddha chant. The set then quickly transforms back to when Tina, as Anne-Mae (her given name) was a young child in church choir singing old Negro spirituals. This is where Anne-Mae starts singing loud with a beautiful voice, feeling the spirit.  Her mother was always giving negative comments about her loud singing in church.   This part of her life is when she also witnesses her mother and father going through domestic violence. When Tina’s parents separated, her mother left her with her father. She was later able to rejoin her mother and her sister in St. Louis.   We all know the story, this is where Tina met Ike at nightclub after she performed on stage. Ike asked her to join his band after getting her mother’s approval. Once Ike told Tina’s mother about how much money she would be making her mother quickly approved. This phase of the play covered them being on the road traveling through the south and dealing with segregation. They had to deal with sleeping in the car because they couldn’t get a hotel room, and getting pulled over and harassed by the police. It also covered the domestic abuse, drug abuse, and infidelity that Ike and Tina were going through.

Our Favorite Parts

The setting of this musical was very colorful and vibrant the transitions the between scenes were flawless. The costumes were very detailed and capture every time frame as contemporary and classic. All the actors played their parts very well to perfection. You got the see the transformation of Tina Turner’s life going through hardship, and pain trying to survive while pursuing a dream. It depicted her going through spiritual growth and finding love in another county and coming back as a celebrated icon.

Zurin Villanueva as ‘Tina Turner’ in the North American touring production of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL. Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade.

As the play started by her chanting her Buddha mantra in full Tina Turner style; is how the play closed. Then it immediately turned into a mini concert with a band performance and a full stage ensemble with the actors coming out and taking a bow. The crowd got involved and stood up and started dancing as well. We loved Tina Turner and this musical was just one representation of her legacy.


This musical was beautiful and is a must-see.

Read more about Tina Turner here.

Read more about the Detroit Opera House here.

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