Interview: Giovanni Adams – Bringing to life the story of Ike and Tina Turner

Giovanni Adams is currently starring in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is playing in Adelaide to rave reviews. From the highs to the lowest of lows, this production is an emotional roller coaster that is high energy from beginning to end. Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is a moving homage to and celebration of the life that Tina Turner lived. Today, Thursday 23rd May, marks one year since the shock passing of the legendary Tina Turner.

The relationship between Tina and Ike Turner is well documented. On stage, they were a powerful duo, but off stage, their relationship was fraught with trouble.

Fresh off a plane from the United States, Giovanni Adams has taken on the role of Ike Turner for the rest of the Australian tour. Giovanni recently spoke to Glam Adelaide about the show, the role and where his love of theatre and performing grew from.

“My love of performing began at home with my family and the church. The church is a very musical, charismatic space. It was a place where I was permitted to express myself as a little queer black kid. You were applauded for being able to sing all the high notes. It was when I was accepted into a performing arts school where I began to really consider performing as a professional career. It was one of the only performing art schools that was free to the public. I was exposed to ballet, modern, jazz, and then I was also exposed to theatre and vocal performance – it really changed my life.”

This is the first time Giovanni has ever performed here in Australia, and he shared an amusing view on what it has been like.

“I’ve been telling people it’s a bit like Broadway meets a footy match. Australian audiences are a mixed group. You have people who are die hard musical theatre fans who meet us at the stage door and want us to sign their books and they’re familiar with the life of the production more so than I am. Then you also have folks who are coming to a show for the first time who are either brought by their spouses or huge fans of Tina, and they’re just blown away and so fired up – and boy do they let you know.”

Taking on a role like Ike Turner would not be an easy task. Giovanni spoke to Glam about how he prepares himself and what he hopes he is able to bring across to audiences through his performance.

“Everyone is aware of the fraught relationship between Tina and Ike, but what’s not really well documented is Ike’s contribution to the music industry. At the time he met Tina, he was at the top of his game. He’d been touring with some of the biggest names. He was the foundation of Sun Records, Tina really admired Ike, and they shared a love for music. These are the moments that I’m hoping, as a performer, to create for the audience and for them to see. Ike and Tina had a lot of respect for one another, and if they hadn’t become so personally intertwined, maybe their story could have been different.”

We asked Giovanni if he finds it easier playing a character that is based on a real person, or a completely fictitious character.

“That’s very interesting question! For me as a performer, you always want to play the characters that live on the extremes because they give you so much more opportunity to delve into the breadth of the human experience. With Ike, there’s that added responsibility that he is real and has a very interesting history. That just brings a next level of dedication to the storytelling because you want to honour the script and the person.”

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical has an incredibly talented cast, which as Giovanni explains, makes performing with them so easy.

“It’s such a rewarding experience to be a part of a show where you started out as a fan. I had the great fortune of seeing the show four times before I assumed the leading role. It gave me an opportunity to see the show with four different Tinas and to see what those women brought to the leading role, but then also to see the artistry of our entire amazing cast, crew and band. This show has a lot going on, both on stage and behind the scenes. I couldn’t have asked for a more thrilling and more rewarding company to join as my first major production here in Australia.”

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is playing at the Festival Theatre until May 31.

Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: Until May 31, 2024
Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes (including a 20-minute intermission)
Tickets: From $55.00

Read our 5-star review HERE.

More News

To Top