“It feels incredible to be back,” said actress Adrienne Warren. “It feels like a blessing and I’m happy to be able to do what I love.”
What Warren loves is performing in a theater filled with people and portraying one of rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest stars in the Broadway show “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which reopens after 19 months on October 8th.
And Broadway loves Adrienne Warren. She is nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and the show itself is nominated for 12 Tonys (including Best Musical).
Correspondent Maurice DuBois asked Warren, “Did you forget things?”
“Yes. Yes, I forgot a lot!”
Returning to Broadway also meant getting back in fighting shape. “By the way, you have great skills,” DuBois said, “one-two and three, especially the hook, right?”
Warren has been Tina Turner for more than six years now, and patience has been the name of the game: “I’ve been doing this show for so long, and I think I’ve put so much pressure on myself. Pressure to do the right thing by her.Press to make it right by her fans.And now I feel a little more ownership of it in a way that I did not feel it before and now I think I can actually have a little more fun. “
Before the pandemic began, Warren shared with “Sunday Morning” the crucial moment in her transformation into Tina Turner, in the very first scene: “Right here is my back to the audience. And just when the lights go down here for me, and I hear the crowd (snaps fingers), that’s when I become Tina. ”
The musical tells the turbulent story of Tina Turner’s life, from her difficult childhood in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her discovery and terrible treatment of her husband and producer Ike Turner.
Tina Turner, one of the series’ executive producers, described the violence forin 2018: “How bad did it get? I had to be really careful about what I said and how I said it. And I did not want to start a fight because it was always a black eye, a broken nose , a bushy lip, a rib. It was pure torture. “
Warren said: “I’ve been looking up to her for as long as I can remember. I mean, there was not a time when my parents didn’t play her music in my household. And I had never seen another woman sing rock ‘n’. roll that looked like me. “
From their very first meetings, Turner made sure she would be there for all the advice the actress needed. Warren said, “You know, from the beginning, she asked our producers, ‘Let Adrienne come and sit with me, and tell her she can ask me anything she wants.’ And I thought: What? ”
“One of the first things she said to me is: there are no shortcuts to hard work,” Warren said. “And I thought, I really do not know what she means by that. But now I do.”
Turner said she said to Warren, “Try not to be me. Find my essence.” And to find that essence, Warren turned to video of Turner’s classic performances.
Ike & Tina Turner Revue performs “Proud Mary” on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in January 1970:
“How does her body move when she’s just groovin?” Said Warren. “Her hands are often always here. They are often a little loose. But she does like points and pointers on things and points on the audience. “
And Warren says she was shocked by something else: “There are a lot of videos that you can look back on and you can actually see bruises on her. She would say, ‘Adrienne, do you see it under my eye there? He had just slapped me in the face before. ‘And she tried to cover it with makeup. “
Being Tina Turner took its way off Warren: pain in her ankle and knee, a herniated disc. She almost never leaves the stage for the show’s two hours and 45 minutes and performs an astonishing 24 tracks.
DuBois asked, “So what happens to your muscles, your mind, when you don’t perform for a year?”
“I actually had to forget myself as an entertainer a little bit,” she replied. “I actually asked the question ‘Who am I without it?'”
“Come up with some answers?”
“Yes, I think so. I’m someone who cares a lot about what’s going on in this world, in this country, cares a lot about my society. The silence around black lives made me furious in a way that actually got me “to want to stop performing at some point. Broadway was silent about my life and whether it mattered. We had to ask for permission to be seen as equals. And the industry didn’t really recognize us for years until now.”
Which explains why Warren will walk away with a special Tony Award tonight for his work with the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, a group she co-founded five years ago to fight racism.
“So ultimately in your mind, what does social justice look like when it comes to theater?” DuBois asked.
“It looks like you and I as theater owners,” Warren replied. “It looks like you and me as producers. It looks like black stories are more about, ‘Look how well we sing and how well we dance, but what is it like to be us in everyday life?’ We are recognized.
“So, now we’re here, you see us, and we’re not going anywhere. And we will continue to hold people accountable, and we will not shut up!” she laughed.
Warren stated, “On my journey to learn to be Tina, somewhere in there, I have been able to find myself, yes.”
Do not miss the 74th annual Tony Awards ceremony, live Sunday, September 26 at. 19.00 ET / 16.00 PT on Paramount +, followed by the thesis “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” At 21:00 ET / PT on CBS.
You can stream the original Broadway cast album of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” by clicking on the post below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):
For more information:
The story is produced by Jay Kernis. Editor: David Bhagat.
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