Tony Awards: Why 1 Critic Said That ‘Tina: The Tina Turner Musical’ Is ‘as Good as It Gets

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is heralded by one critic to be “as good as it gets” when it comes to Broadway musicals. The members of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, comprised of representatives appointed by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League appear to feel the same way. The production’s been honored with 12 nods including one for Best Musical.

The Broadway marquee for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, nominated for 12 Tony Awards.
Broadway marquee for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical | Bruce Glikas/WireImage

What is ‘Tina: The Tina Turner Musical’ about?

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical tells the life story of Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock, from Nutbush, TN. The story follows Turner’s life as a young girl, abandoned by her father and mother and left in the care of her grandmother.

As a teenager, she reunited with her mother in St. Louis, MO where she caught a glimpse of Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm playing in a local club. Seeing Ike Turner’s band would change the trajectory of Turner’s life. She went from having aspirations of being a nurse to thinking about a career in show business.

However, Turner’s unpreparedness for twists and turns that life would set her up for caused heartache. Turner stays too long in an abusive marriage with Ike. She escapes with no money and just the validity of her name to start her own career.

One critic called ‘Tina: The Tina Turner Musical’ ‘as good as it gets’ according to one critic?

The Broadway cast of "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical."
Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton pose with Adrienne Warren as “Tina Turner” and the cast & band backstage at the hit musical “TINA – The Tina Turner Musical” on Broadway at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre on January 30, 2020, in New York City Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage

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For instance, while some may think that Tina: The Tina Turner Musical falls under the tile of a standard jukebox musical it is anything but. Specifically, a jukebox musical is a stage or musical adaptation where a majority of the music contains popular music tunes instead of original songs. However, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical tells the gritty real-life story of the woman behind her most beloved music.

A critic for The Guardian claimed that importantly, the musical honors Turner’s legacy. Nevertheless, “The show is anything but a sob story since it is a tribute to her gutsiness and drive,” said The Guardian critic.

“What is striking is the way the songs, and there are 23 of them, are used in a variety of ways. Sometimes they are there to advance the narrative. At other times, they demonstrate her capacity for reinvention,” they wrote.

The critic cited the music, production value, choreography, costuming, and cast as some of the many reasons, if not all, that Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is an excellent production. As a result, “As bio-musicals go, this is as good as it gets.”

In what Tony categories was Tina: The Tina Turner Musical nominated?

The Tony-nominated "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" appears on "Good Morning America."
The cast of “Tina: The Tina Turner Broadway Musical,” perform live on “Good Morning America,” Wednesday, November 6, 2019 on ABC | Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images

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Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is a nominee in a dozen categories according to the official Tony Awards website.

The show and cast grabbed accolades for Best Musical. A nomination for Best Book for a Musical went to Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar, and Kees Prins.

Additionally, Adrienne Warren is lauded for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Similarly, Daniel J. Watts has a nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

A nod for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical went to Myra Lucretia Taylor.

Best Scenic Design of a Musical nominations went to Mark Thompson and Jeff Sugg. In addition, Thompson earned a nomination for Best Costume Design.

Bruno Poet is a contender for Best Lighting Design of a Musical. Recognized for Best Sound Design of a Musical is Nevin Steinberg. Best Direction of a Musical nods go to Phyllidia Lloyd and a Best Choreography recognition goes to Anthony Van Laast.

Lastly, Ethan Popp is nominated in the category of Best Orchestrations.

Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. host this year’s Tony Awards ceremony.

McDonald helms the live broadcast of the 74th Annual Tony Awards at 7 p.m. EST on Paramount+. Odom Jr. serves as host for The Tony Awards Present Broadway’s Back!, the live concert event celebrating Broadway’s return at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.