The music and story of one of the most iconic live performers of all time is being brought back to life on stage at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in late October. "Tina - The Tina Turner Musical" opens at the Buell Theatre from Oct. 18 through Oct. 29.
The late musician's music shines on its own in the show, but the stories of Tina's life help bring a new meaning to the lyrics in each tune.
CBS News Colorado's Dillon Thomas traveled to Spokane, Washington for an exclusive preview of the show and interviews with the cast.
"We have a huge task at hand to tell her story," cast member Tiki Hopson said.
Hopson and Karen Burthwright are among the handful of incredibly talented performers who help capture everything Tina any given night.
Hopson serves as an Ikette in the show. Birthweight is the dance captain and also serves as a cover for the role of Tina. Both said, as Black women, it was an honor to be trusted with telling the story of one of their idols.
"Wow, there is no one like her," Burthwright said.
"She has had an extreme impact on my life since I was a toddler," Hopson said.
"Tina - The Tina Turner Musical" brings light to the backstory of the iconic singer. Many may not know that Tina was born Anna Mae Bullock. Those who attend the show will be walked through the story of Anna Mae's upbringing, and how her childhood greatly impacted the trajectory of her life and music.
Audiences are treated to a plethora of Turner's greatest hits throughout the storyline. Every night, some audience members are seen standing out of their seats and dancing along to the songs.
"We have a great time every night," Hopson said.
"These people are diehard Tina fans," Burthwright said.
"We get to hear them get super excited for that one song they were waiting to hear," Hopson said.
Performing in the show is not an easy task. The role of Tina is so demanding that two women are cast for the position during the tour. Each actress takes the stage every other night as a way to help the other recover from the previous night.
Those who play Tina are on stage nearly the entire performance, at times doing costume changes before the audience in order to keep the show on pace.
But Tina isn't the only character who has to be in great physical shape. Those who portray the Ikette's are also required to be in physical shape while also being able to sing and dance.
"So Tina's dance moves are so iconic. But would you say they are difficult?" CBS News Colorado's Dillon Thomas asked the duo.
"Why don't we give you a little taste? Do you think you got what it takes to step up to the challenge? You can tell us if it is physically demanding. We know the answer, but we think it is time for you to know the answer. We can teach you a couple things," Burthwright said.
Without any history of dancing, let alone in front of cameras or others, Thomas was thrust into the life of a Tina cast member. Burthwright and Hopson gave him a crash course lesson on Tina's most iconic dance, performed during her iconic hit, "Proud Mary."
The song moves rapidly, and requires many body parts to be moving in different directions all on beat. It is more difficult than it looks, and is also physically taxing. The segment Thomas learned was only about 30 seconds long, yet left him breathing hard and beginning to sweat.
Hopson and Burthwright said they had the opportunity to perform before real life former Ikette dancers.
"Just to hear them say that we have done what they did justice is a huge thing for us," Hopson said.
Those who attend the show are treated to a Tina Turner concert at the end of the show, featuring a live band, lights, dancers and more.
Those CBS News Colorado spoke with said it was their honor to portray Tina each night.
"We are doing the same thing she did. It is almost like life imitating art. We are tired; we are exhausted. But we have to take care of ourselves because that is what she did. She did it well into her 60s; I better show up and do it, too," Burthwright said.
"Tina - The Tina Turner Musical" arrives in Denver on Oct. 18. For more information on tickets, visit the Denver Center for the Performing Arts website, of which CBS Colorado is a proud sponsor.
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