Baltimore audiences have thoroughly enjoyed TINA– The Tina Turner Musical, showing at the Hippodrome Theatre from Nov. 15 to Nov. 20.

By Ama Brown,
Special to the AFRO

The Hippodrome Theatre has hosted the national touring cast for the hit Broadway show TINA – The Tina Turner Musical all week. The show opened on Nov. 15 and will close on Nov. 20. 

Audiences were wowed by the costumes, lighting, music and powerful voices that rang throughout the theater. 

Zurin Villanueva takes the spotlight as Tina Turner, with Garrett Turner in the role of Ike Turner.

At its core, Tina Turner’s story is about love– love that struggled to find kindness. Love that struggled to find understanding. Love that struggled to find peace. 

The AFRO had an opportunity to experience the show and took note of the local talent included in the cast. 

Roz White, a DMV local and D.C. Youth Ensemble graduate is the seasoned veteran of the stage that plays Zelma Bullock, Tina’s mother, who fled an abusive relationship in Tennessee with only the oldest of her two daughters. Anna Mae was left behind. 

For those who don’t know, Anna Mae Bullock and Tina Turner are one and the same. 

The environment she grew up in was one where every win was scratched and clawed out of adversity. The abusive relationship she watched her mother endure was a challenge Turner later found herself dealing with as an adult. Even though the man of the house was a man of God in public, at home, he was a terror to the family. 

“Bullock spent many years in an abusive relationship of her own because he took care of home. She gave as good as she got–and would advise her daughter to do the same,” said White.

In the play Bullock tells her famous daughter to physically fight back against her husband’s assaults– the same way that she did.

White says that while better advice could have been given, making tough decisions as a parent is hard– especially when you have a child that is gifted and talented.

“This is not an easy task,” she said.

Antonio Beverly, another local artist, also spoke with the AFRO.

The two stage performers are similar in that their first glimpse of theatrical life was courtesy of the public school system in Baltimore. Both of their families’ move to Columbia, Md., which opened many more doors in the theatrical arena. With access to abundant funds for arts education and scholarships they pursued theatre as a career. 

Beverly plays Ronnie, Tina’s youngest son. He is Ike and Tina’s only son together.

Throughout the play, audience members learn the backstory of how Ike and Tina Turner became a couple not long after she gave birth to saxophonist Raymond Hill’s son, whom they named Craig.

Although Tina loves her children, she struggles with a common side effect of domestic

abuse– displacement. As Ike Turner’s dynamic performer, Tina Turner was queen of the stage, but she was also an abuse victim flirting with suicide. As a single mother, she struggled to keep her head above water– but she was free in her spirit and in her life.

Just as she watched her mother make tough decisions, her sons watched her wrestle for a better life right before their eyes.

“They had to understand the duality of being Anna Mae ‘s son while also being Tina Turner’s son,” said Beverly.

Both cast members are on their third national tour, but said that the experience of new audiences and new cities is still very rewarding. 

Once the show wraps up in Baltimore on Nov. 20 the cast will head to Philadelphia to run shows between Nov. 23 and Dec. 3.

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