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Bermudian actor gets dream job in Tina Turner musical

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Mega fan: Rowan Vickers, who is performing in Tina - The Tina Turner Musical, with his wife, Leigha Sinnott (Photograph supplied)

Rowan Vickers is touring North America with Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

It’s a dream job for the “mega fan” of the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who died in May, aged 83.

The downside, however, is that a plan to put Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts on the Bermuda stage in January is now on hold.

“There is hope, however, that the drama intensive Rowan and his wife, Leigha Sinnott, hold for students here every summer, will go ahead.

“We're still in the process of figuring out what that is going to look like this year and if we're able to do it, because I'm on this tour now through August,” he said.

“It’s brilliant to be a part of a Broadway national tour. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do – to travel and see the country and be part of such a big machine.

“It’s a huge crew, and it's a huge cast and to get to do my first Broadway tour with this show is very, very special because I believe so much in the story and I'm such a mega fan of Tina and her music.”

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical premiered in London, England, in 2018 and opened on Broadway in New York City the following year.

It tells of the legendary singer’s humble beginning in Nutbush, Tennessee, as Anna Mae Bullock, and her eventual rise to superstardom; Tina’s songs are featured throughout.

Telling Tina’s story: Bermudian Rowan Vickers is touring North America with Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (Photograph supplied)

There are now productions around the world. “[They’re] in Australia, in Spain, in Germany … It really is a global brand and a global production and it's thrilling to be a part of telling Tina’s story,” Rowan said.

The actor, who has a list of credits behind him and was most recently in the Apple TV+ series, Silo, joined the tour in San Jose, California, in August. Tina is his first musical.

“I play a couple of different roles but my main part is a character called John Carpenter who was the head of [artists and repertoire] at Capitol Records. It’s been an absolute ball and a real joy,” he said.

“I’ve auditioned for musicals but I’ve never worked on one. So I am super jazzed to be a part of a Broadway musical.

“It’s a real thrill to get to share the stage with these incredibly talented musical theatre artists whose voices are second to none and they’re all incredible dancers. It’s an inspiring story to work on and it's also an inspiring work environment.”

While in St Louis, Missouri, last week, a visit by the cast to the singer’s former high school made the television news and the city mayor proclaimed November Tina Turner Month.

The show will keep Rowan on the road for a year of non-stop performances.

“We have quite a rigorous schedule. Most of the cities that we have been hitting, we’re there for one week.

“The typical schedule would be that we travel on a Monday, either by bus or plane depending on what the company has sorted, and then we perform Tuesday to Sunday.”

Shows are held nightly except on Saturdays and Sundays when a matinee is added.

Telling Tina’s story: Bermudian Rowan Vickers is touring North America with Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (Photograph supplied)

“It’s constant. It’s go, go, go. But what's so awesome about that is you get to see so many cool cities throughout the country.

“I joined the tour when we were on the West Coast and we're going to be sort of making our way progressively east from here.

“We hit all the big cities in Texas first thing in the new year and then we go down to Florida and then we slowly start working our way up the East Coast into the spring and towards the summer.

“And so once we’re on the East Coast area, Bermudians might be able to make the trip out to maybe somewhere in North Carolina or Toronto or upstate New York and catch the production. It'd be very, very cool to see anyone and everyone who would want to come party with us.”

Watching audiences experience the show is a “very, very special” gift that comes with the work, Rowan added.

“This musical is a celebration of her life and her legacy. It's all set to the soundtrack of her life and it's just wonderful to be a part of that celebration, wonderful to be keeping that legacy alive.

“She was an artist who was very special to a lot of people for a myriad of reasons, [and] obviously a once-in-a-generation talent.

“Her story is one of overcoming immense adversity and she's a very inspiring person and artist so it's very cool to be a part of that, of telling that story, a story that's very meaningful.

“A lot of people are coming to celebrate Tina and what she means to them and when you look out into the audience, you can really see people having very powerful experiences.

“It’s humbling and just a wonderful thing to get to be a part of and I get to do it every day – go to work and sing Tina Turner music. That’s pretty great.”

For a list of upcoming shows of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, visit www.tinabroadway.com

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Published November 27, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated December 01, 2023 at 8:19 am)

Bermudian actor gets dream job in Tina Turner musical

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