How The Cast Of Tina Gets Inspired By The Legend Herself

FEBRUARY 3, 2020

What’s love got to do with it? Well, everything! Since it opened on Broadway in November 2019, we’ve loved Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. Full disclosure, we loved it when we got a sneak peek of it when the show was in London, but that love has only continued to grow.

Following the incredible journey from humble beginnings into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical isn’t just a show about the icon; it’s been created with input from Turner herself. We chatted with the incredible cast about how Tina has inspired them, their favorite moments, and of course, what their favorite Tina Turner song is. Check out their responses, and don’t forget to visit the show page to get your tickets to roll down the river and see Tina – The Tina Turner Musical for yourself!


Holli’ Conway (Ikette)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you? Tina has inspired me because her story has no end. From her journey with Ike, her solo career, her works as an author, to this musical. She has taught me that as long as you’re alive you have space to continue writing your story.
What is a treasured Tina moment you’ll never forget? At the end of opening night as Adrienne Warren guided Tina onstage to bow and give her speech, Tina looked at the ensemble as if she wanted to look at each of us in the eyes and take in that moment. The sheer joy on her face is a vision I will never forget.
What is your favorite Tina Turner song and why? My favorite Tina Turner song is “You Got What You Wanted”. It’s not actually in the show, but it’s one of those old blues-y Ike and Tina songs that I love so much!


Judith Franklin (Ensemble)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you? Tina Turner’s resilience inspires me. Against all the odds, she continued to fight for her dreams, her name and her life. She has triumphed in the face of sexism, ageism, racism, domestic violence and more. Her authenticity and transparency are admirable. She has inspired me to never give up, no matter what!
What is a treasured Tina moment you’ll never forget? I’ll never forget opening night at Tina - The Tina Turner Musical. The last time I saw Tina Turner was at her 2008 concert in Atlanta, Georgia. She was incredible! Fast forward 11 years later and I’m performing for Tina Turner on opening night. What is life? Amazing!
What is your favorite Tina Turner song and why? My favorite Tina Turner song is "Simply The Best." I love the lyrics, melody, and musical arrangements. She sings from her heart and creates a feeling of extreme nostalgia.


Matthew Griffin (Craig)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you? When I really examine Tina’s circumstances being: a woman, black, having kids with no support from a spouse, and wanting to sing rock music... it sums up to be the ultimate story of adversity, strength, and faith.
What is your favorite Tina Turner song and why? “Simply the Best.” The title says it all, really.


Jhardon DiShon Milton (Ronnie)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you? Her music alone. I remember being a kid and listening to her and Ike’s music, and WATCHING HER MOVE! This little boy really wanted to perform be an ounce of what she was/is.
What is a treasured Tina moment you’ll never forget? The fact that she was here for Opening Night and I was able perform for her and help tell her story.


Jayden Theophile (Young Craig)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you? Tina has inspired me by the way she overcame all the challenges she faced. She showed me that no matter how hard things may seem, if you work hard, you can do anything.
What is a treasured Tina moment you’ll never forget? My favorite Tina moment was when I first saw the video for “Proud Mary.” I was amazed at how much energy she had to do all those amazing dance moves!


Antonio J. Watson (Young Craig)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you? She's inspired me to dance.
What is your favorite Tina Turner song and why? “River Deep Mountain High.” The song speaks to me. Love the high note!


Destinee Rea (Ikette)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you?
Tina is such a force. She is unapologetic about the destiny she knows lives within her and is relentless about chasing after it. That’s inspiring!!! Because of her I can walk through doors that were not open.
What is a treasured Tina moment you’ll never forget? In the rehearsal process, our choreographer would show us videos of her teaching the iconic Ikette moves. It was so incredible to see how this movement has developed from choreo a few black girls in a locker room came up with, to dance moves people all around the world identify as legendary, and now I get to do these moves on a Broadway stage! 
What is your favorite Tina Turner song and why? I love “Bold Soul Sister.” It’s my motto for life. “Do what you wanna, when you wanna, how you wanna now do your thing soul sista!”


Dawnn Lewis (Zelma)

How has Tina Turner inspired or influenced you?
Tina’s journey both as a child and an adult learning to not only survive, but ultimately thrive in the face of domestic violence, speaks of my own personal journey with the same reality. Her courage, like my mothers, has fortified me to be a better person, a loving person.
What is a treasured Tina moment you’ll never forget? On opening night, Tina told me that my portrayal of her mother Zelma Bullock, made her feel “like home.” Considering their troubled relationship, I asked her, “is that a good thing?” She laughed and responded, “It absolutely was. I really enjoyed your performance.” Having Ms. Turner validate my interpretation of her mother, means more to me than I can express.
What is your favorite Tina Turner song and why? “I Don’t Wanna Fight.” We are living in a time where humanity really needs to better embrace and demonstrate how we can come together in light and in love. Life is too short to continue to waste time fighting with and undermining each other’s cultures, contributions and communities.


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