Chicago Tribune - Recommended
"...The 2019 Broadway musical “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical” played its 200th performance on tour at the Nederlander Theatre on Wednesday night and the achievement was marked with a great responsive roar from a Chicago audience clearly thrilled to be in the presence of a queen."
Chicago Sun Times - Recommended
"...Overall, the musical has many entertaining renditions of Turner’s songs, for the most part well-contextualized around the storyline, which begins with her childhood as Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, and ends with her rise to fame in Brazil for her first solo concert, playing to a record-breaking crowd of 180,000 fans. While Villanueva nails nearly every song perfectly, some standout numbers include “Let’s Stay Together” and an especially heart-wrenching rendition of “I Don’t Wanna Fight No More.”"
Daily Herald - Somewhat Recommended
"...That said, "Tina" has its moments. Ayvah Johnson, who plays young Anna-Mae, is a powerhouse in the making. "Let's Stay Together," the duet between Tina and bandmate Raymond, sympathetically played by Gerard M. Williams, features some of the show's loveliest vocals. "Proud Mary," in all its incarnations, is a delight. And the majestic "River Deep -- Mountain High" (for which sound designer Nevin Steinberg recreates Phil Spector's storied wall-of-sound) sends shivers up the spine. On that note, "Tina" delivers."
Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended
"...When it focuses on the music (and if you go, stick around for the post-curtain call kick-out-the-jams added numbers), it's of course amazing. But flat dialogue bogs down the space between the songs and doesn't enlarge our understanding of one of the true musical goddesses of the era. We know her story. Tina doesn't show us enough of her soul."
Chicago Stage and Screen - Highly Recommended
"...Part tribute concert, part Black History, part biographical study, Tina, the Tina Turner musical is not an evening for sensitive viewers, but it is a powerful story based on a remarkable life.
And as performed in the touring production now on view at Broadway in Chicago's Nederlander Theater in the Loop, it is an on your feet tour de force performance you will not soon forget, a perfect way to close out your Black History Month with an seminal Women's History Month tribute."
Let's Play Theatrical Reviews - Recommended
"...Based on a book from Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar, and Kees Prins, associated with Tina Turner, the James M. Nederlander Theatre, the highly anticipated Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, illustrates the tragic beginnings of a child named Anna Mae Bullock, who became known as "The Queen of Rock' n' Roll," and one of the greatest icons known worldwide."
Around The Town Chicago - Recommended
"...The long-awaited “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” has finally opened in Chicago as part of this season’s Broadway In Chicago series. The Nederlander Theatre was hot tonight and while the story follows her life and is filled with some wonderful songs ( “We Don’t Need Another Hero”, <“Proud Mary”, “I Don’t Want To Fight No More”) I am not sure that it was a “must see”.Zurin Villanueva has a dynamite voice and a great stage presence and some very long legs, but for many scenes, I felt that she was not “Tina”, and this character, who is a real person is unlike any book character- being real, audience members have specific expectations so the person playing this role must convey the true and real “Tina”."
WTTW - Highly Recommended
"...By the time Zurin Villanueva takes her final bow in "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical," you can only hope that an oxygen machine is awaiting her in the wings along with a sizzling steak. She delivers close to three hours of bravura singing, acting and dancing (with her eye-popping legs, slinky moves and a soaring voice that all seem to have been specially designed for the title role)."
Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended
"...Although the musical feels flat and disjointed, it’s mostly due to the script. It tries to link a tragic story together with songs that really have little to do with the drama unfolding. The directing and choreographic team of Phyllida Lloyd and Anthony Van Last, who collaborated for an earlier jukebox hit musical, “Mamma Mia!” do what they can to make this show work. But outside of the enjoyment experienced in hearing such great songs as “Nutbush City Limits,” “Better Be Good to Me,” “Private Dancer,” “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “The Best,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero” and, of course, “Proud Mary,” sung by a powerful cast, this show won’t be remembered for its storytelling."
Buzznews.net - Highly Recommended
"...TINA- The Tina Turner Musical is the broadway musical we need to get us out of our seats and singing as Proud as Mary. The musical runs through April 2nd at the James M Nederlander Theater (24 W Randolph St), tickets are available at Broadway In Chicago, get your tickets today before this show rolls on down the river."
The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended
"...Tina Turner is an iconic superstar. This musical pays tribute to not only her talent but her resilience. It tells the story of a high-spirited young girl (played by an effervescent Ayvah Johnson) abandoned by her mother. A young woman beaten by her husband. And a 40+ year old mother trying to launch a rock and roll comeback. TINA is an intimate portrayal of the legendary Tina Turner. It’s a behind-the-curtain look at her life and career."
Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Recommended
"...If shaggy around the edges, Tina makes an impression as an entertaining and star-studded story to tap every toe in the house. High production value and an undeniably talented cast pull the slack to make for a “Disco Inferno” well-worth the admission price for any Tina Turner fan."
Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended
"...Zurin Villanueva’s impression of that stunning voice powers “Tina—The Tina Turner Musical,” which has now brought its national tour to Chicago’s Nederlander Theatre. (She shares the role with Ari Groover.) It’s not just the voice, though, and the opportunity to discover things about Turner that I—not a big fan, remember—never knew before. Villanueva’s Tina, following a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall that Turner herself approved, is as vulnerable as her voice is powerful. And her comeback story, from falling into near-oblivion in the 70s after finally leaving Ike to becoming a rock sensation as a solo act in the 80s and winning 12 Grammys, is no less powerful."
Chicago Culture Authority - Highly Recommended
"...The songs are immutable stars in the rock and R&B firmament. They were hoisted to the heavens by the singular force of nature who recorded them. Which means this show lives and dies on how well the lead role is cast. It's a tall order, literally. Where can one find a young woman with legs as long as Tina's, with pipes as powerful as Tina's, and with the acting chops to inhabit one of the most talented, high-octane performers of her generation?"
Picture This Post - Highly Recommended
"...With book by Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar, and Kees Prins, the biopic musical follows the life of Tina Turner (at this performance portrayed by Zurin Villanueva). From early childhood, the woman did not have it easy - beginning with Zelma (Ann Nesby), a mother who abandoned her at a young age and then continuing with an abusive relationship with her husband and band-partner Ike Turner (Garrett Turner). Tina had a unique and powerhouse voice that could leave crowds in awe, and the musical explores the many challenging obstacles that stood in her way to becoming one of the world's best-selling artists of today."
Splash Magazine - Highly Recommended
"...The second act is a triumph with Tina finally separating from Ike and finding her voice in Rock and Roll. The dancing, singing, stage lighting, and band all put on phenomenal performances. This wow show is not to be missed. The audience was on its feet singing and swaying accompanying the mighty performances at the finale."
BroadwayWorld - Highly Recommended
"...The current production at the James M. Nederlander Theatre is the more than a jukebox musical Tina- The Tina Turner Musical. Ms. Turner and her husband Erwin Bach are executive producers. Being abandoned by her mother and her relationship with Ike are the backbone of her transformation into becoming who she is today. The book by Katori Hall along with Frank Kettlaar and Kees Prins, Phyllida Lloyd's superb direction, Anthony Van Laast's choreography, Bruno Poet's lighting design, stunning costumes by Mark Thompson and a powerful orchestra under the direction of Anne Shuttlesworth all combine to bring the audience an unforgettable evening of storytelling and music."
NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended
"...It was Villanueva, however, who performed as Tina on opening night. She is certainly a capable performer but to these ears and eyes, there is little Tina-esque about her portrayal. Tina was a growling contralto, Villanueva is a shrieking soprano. Tina sang from her diaphragm, Villanueva uses a head voice. Tina’s phrasing was free and flexible. Villanueva is static and tight. Even their body types and speaking voices have little in common. This Tina is a caricature."