Broadway Star Adrienne Warren Channeled Tina Turner at the Tonys

At the Tony Awards last night, Broadway star Adrienne Warren picked up one of the night’s biggest trophies for her depiction of Tina Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. “Being a part of the show, it was important to me to bring Tina Turner’s story back home,” Warren tells Vogue of the challenging role, for which she won best leading actress in a musical. “She’s been so missed by her fans. I wanted her to know how loved she is: That was my main motivation and inspiration behind the work that I put into the show.”

Warren was, of course, honored to receive the grand accolade last night, but she says celebrating all Broadway productions at the Tonys was meaningful given this past year. Broadway doors were abruptly closed in March 2020, but re-opened in September this year. The Tonys aimed to celebrate Broadway’s much-anticipated return. “Theatre is a medium that is very different from TV and film,” says Warren. “It’s very grueling work that people have to be present for 8 times a week, and they don’t necessarily get paid what people in TV and film are paid. It was incredibly important to take a moment to celebrate that work—especially after people’s livelihoods were taken away [during the pandemic].” 

For her big night, Warren chose a show-stopping look for the red carpet that paid homage to both Tina Turner and her own theatre roots, too. Her white, floor-length Miu Miu gown had a deep-V neckline and was covered in shimmering crystals. “My dress is a little nod to Tina, and it’s also a nod to [the 1920s style of] Shuffle Along, which was my first [Tonys] nomination,” Warren says. “It represents what my journey has been. I still consider myself a Broadway baby; this is still just my third Broadway show!” 

Photo: Tyler Gustin

Warren particularly liked her dress’s subtle reference to Turner. “The crystals on it remind me of the fringes on Tina Turner’s ‘Proud Mary’ dress,” says Warren, “But they’re a little more refined and classic. She’s such a fashion icon.” She says the look was a departure from her usual day-to-day style. “I’ve been a rock and roll girl for a long time, but this gave me a little Old Hollywood,” says Warren. “It’s nice to show a different side of me.”

This won’t be the last time Warren channels Turner, either. The star is coming back to Tina on Broadway for a limited engagement. She says she’s excited about stepping back into the role, and seeing all the other productions that she couldn’t during the pandemic. “I didn’t get to see Caroline, or Change in London: I really want to see that,” she says, adding that she also wants to take in Jagged Little Pill and Chicken and Biscuits. Up next, she’ll be filming a to-be-announced movie. Her new TV series, titled Women of the Movement, in which she portrays Mamie Till-Mobley, comes out in January next year. “We shot it during the pandemic, so I was grateful to have the time to do that,” says Warren. “They’re all stories that I’m unbelievably passionate about.”

Below, see how Warren got ready for the Tonys at the St. Regis New York. 

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