Home Features Zurin Villanueva Talks ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’

Zurin Villanueva Talks ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’

Zurin Villanueva performing 'Higher' as ‘Tina Turner’ and the cast of the North American touring production of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade, 2022

The Bank of America Broadway in Fort Lauderdale series presented by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is delighted to announce “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” will go be at the Broward Center from January 17 to January 29.

The cast is led by Naomi Rodgers (Frozen) and Zurin Villanueva (The Lion King, Mean Girls, Shuffle Along, The Book of Mormon) who will evenly share the role of Tina Turner, each playing four (of eight) performances a week. Also starring are Garrett Turner as Ike TurnerRoz White as Zelma BullockAnn Nesby as Gran Georgeanna and Lael Van Keuren as Rhonda.

“It has been years since I toured the US and I am very excited that my own musical can now bring my music and story to my fans in their home cities across America. It’s a homecoming and that is very special to me,” said Tina Turner.

An uplifting comeback story like no other, “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” is the inspiring journey of a woman who broke barriers and became the Queen of Rock n’ Roll.

One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history.

“Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” is recommended for ages 14+. The production includes loud music, strobe lighting, haze, gun shots, scenes depicting domestic violence and strong language.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Zurin Villanueva (who plays Tina) for this Hotspots exclusive Interview:

Zurin Villanueva

At what age did you begin performing?

I started at the age of 9, as my mom saw I had the same desire as she had for dance, and she put me in dance class and it never really stopped from there. 

What was your first professional gig?

When I was 15 and in LaGuardia High School, I got chosen for Nick News for a Black History Month special. I was hired to perform slave narratives. 

When did you know performing would be your career?

I decided I was doing this at the age of 9.

Other than this one, what has been your favorite role so far?

This is so hard, but I think its either Sarah in Ragtime or Ti Moune on Once on this Island. I did both those parts regionally.

What’s your fantasy role (a role you haven’t played but want to)?

There is a list, but the top two are probably Aida, or Millie in “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

Is it intimidating or is there extra pressure playing such an icon?

Yes definitely, not only because of  who Tina is, but because of how they built this role. Its 2 hours and 45 minutes and you do not leave the stage.

PHOTO: Matthew Murphy

Is it hard being on the road all the time?

Oh yes, it’s very difficult as you have to keep up with travel, and housing, and all this while you are way from your loved ones. On the positive side I get to see people in other states that I haven’t seen in a while, and I get to explore new cities all the time. 

How well do you and your castmates get along? 

Pretty well, although this is our first leg of the tour, so we are in the Honeymoon phase.  

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Goofy, sensitive, and creative. 

What do you do for fun?

I perform for fun, but outside of that I like to make things with my hands like sewing or crocheting. I also play the Ukulele and I am starting drumming classes soon. In addition, I meditate. 

What should our readers expect from this touring company of “Tina: The Musical”? 

You can expect to go on a roller coaster ride of emotions and a journey that is unparalleled and pays off with the most amazing concert. I promise everyone will leave happier than when they came. Tina Turner has the most beautiful fans, and we get to borrow them for a few hours. When we get to the end of the show, get ready for a party!

For more information on Zurin, follow her at: Instagram.com/Zurinspired

Individual tickets for “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” range in price from $41.75 to $155.75 with a select number of premium seats available. Tickets are available at Browardcenter.org and Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 954.468.0222, or at the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office located at 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33312.

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