PPAC Kicks Off its Broadway Series
Last week, the Providence Performing Arts Center began its first of seven shows in their 2022-2023 Broadway series with Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. This high-energy show is simultaneously exciting and emotional, revealing the musician’s upbringing and abusive relationship with her husband, Ike Turner. Her hit songs are cleverly interwoven within the story, emphasizing the highs and lows of her journey to becoming the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Even though Tina has left PPAC to continue its national tour, there are plenty more musicals to experience in the upcoming months, notably Mean Girls, Beetlejuice, and Six. With the variety of genres and stories in the Broadway Series, theater-goers will have no issue finding a show to interest them.
Tina Fey’s Mean Girls takes the PPAC stage Oct. 4-9. The coming-of-age musical—which is based on the 2004 movie of the same name—follows Cady Heron’s rise to the top of the high school food chain alongside the three most popular girls in school. Full of upbeat pop music, Mean Girls is a hilarious, uplifting show that is perfect for a night out with friends.
For the history buffs, Six tells the tales of Henry VIII’s wives in a modern, inspiring way. Each of the six women get a chance to express their stories in a concert-style show, incorporating both energetic pop numbers with emotional ballads. Between the colorful costumes and empowering characters, audience members are sure to enjoy learning about these legendary women in a brand-new light. The show will be in Providence in April of 2023.
Last but certainly not least, the final show in the Broadway series is Beetlejuice. Based on the 1988 Tim Burton movie of the same name, this musical follows teenager Lydia Deetz as she copes with loss, family, and ghosts. The set and special effects of this show are incredible and surprising; there is something new in every scene. As Beetlejuice himself says in the show, it is “a bold departure from the original source material.” While it has all the creepiness and humor of the movie, it incorporates a much more emotional storyline and sheds light on darker, more serious themes. Viewers will appreciate the depth of the characters and find themselves rooting for each one. This will be the perfect show to send PPAC’s Broadway series out with a bang.
With the wide variety of shows to be found at the Providence Performing Arts Center, it is a great experience for PC students. Whether it’s with a group event, a solo trip, or even a family outing, there is sure to be a show for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, PPAC frequently offers rush tickets, which allow students to get half-priced seats for shows. If you have yet to see a show here, the 2022-2023 Broadway series is the perfect opportunity to visit the theater, and possibly discover a new musical to enjoy.
The 2021 Tony Awards Celebrate the Return of Live Theatre
The 2021 Tony Awards Celebrate the Return of Live Theatre
Tina and Moulin Rouge! Among the Night’s Notable Winners
Kate Picone ’22
On the night of Sept. 26, 2021, the 73rd Tony Awards were held at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City. This event celebrates the greatest accomplishments in theatre. Uunlike other award shows that applaud performances on the small screen and the silver screen, the Tonys are all about onstage performances. At this year’s ceremony, many outstanding productions and people were nominated and received awards, but among the most notable were Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Adrienne Warren for her role in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical won the Tony for Best Musical, Aaron Tveit won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his part in the production, and Alex Timbers won Best Direction of a Musical for his guiding vision of the show. This musical is one of the most popular offerings on Broadway, and has been for quite some time because of its catchy songs, beautiful costume work, and eccentric themes. After a long season of COVID-19 halting all Broadway performances, it was the perfect musical to reignite the Broadway scene. The cast and crew’s exhilarating performances and tremendous efforts, some of which were featured at the Tonys, rightfully won them the aforementioned awards.
Another notable musical featured at the Tonys was Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, especially because of Adrienne Warren’s inspiring performance as Tina Turner. To say that she embodied the role of the famed singer is an understatement, as she worked extremely hard to capture her in both an entertaining and respectful way. The actress said in a CBS interview, “It feels like a blessing, and I’m happy to be able to do what I love.”
In the CBS interview, Warren also remarked that she felt a lot of pressure to do right by Turner and Turner’s fans with this production. The musical tells the story of Turner’s life, spanning from her turbulent childhood and being “discovered” to her treatment in show business and her terrible marriage to Ike Turner. Warren additionally expressed that the famed singer has always been an inspiration to her, explaining, “I’ve looked up to her for as long as I can remember…And I had never seen another woman sing rock’n’roll that looked like me.”
While the performance was outstanding, the production took a lot out of Warren physically. She had to train and work out so much that it resulted in injuries to her ankle and knee, as well as a herniated disc. The show began to consume her life, especially since she was onstage for nearly the entire production, performing 24 numbers.
The role also required a lot of emotional energy. Warren felt a responsibility to represent Black women in show business, not only through Turner’s experience, but also with regard to what Black women in theatre face today in 2021. She wanted to shine a light on Black performers and force the industry to notice them.
In striving to do so, her performance as Turner allowed Warren to find herself. For the first time in her career, she felt that she had accomplished the representation she and other Black creators deserved. Indeed, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical has definitely gotten the attention and recognition it deserves, not only through the awards it received at the Tonys, but also through the range of emotions viewers feel while watching the production.
It is such powerful viewing experiences as these that make live theatre so meaningful, and that make the Tonys such an important event.