Governor’s School for the Arts alum Adrienne Warren wins 1st Tony for role as Tina Turner

National

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Hampton Roads native is proving that sometimes dreams do come true.

Hampton Roads native Adrienne Warren won her first Tony Award on Sunday for her role as Tina Turner in “The Tina Turner Musical” on Broadway.

Adrienne Warren, who is from Chesapeake, won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her high-energy performances, which take a major physical toll over the two hour and 45 minute show.

The work load led to multiple injuries (she also developed a herniated disk in her back before opening night on November 7, 2019) but the COVID shutdown in March 2020 allowed her to rest and heal her body. She will return to the stage on Oct. 8 for a limited run on Broadway before stepping away from the role.

“Everything I am is because of you,” Adrienne Warren said to her parents in her emotional acceptance speech.

She also thanked Turner “for trusting me to bring her story home.”

The musical tells the story of the legendary performer’s struggles through adversity, including abuse from her husband and producer Ike Turner. She turns 82 this November.

The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk congratulated Warren, a 2005 alum, on Facebook.

“GSA could not be prouder of the fortitude, perseverance, work ethic, humility and graciousness of Adrienne. GSA prides itself on preparing students to pursue their goals in just this way to become leaders in their fields.”

It was Adrienne Warren’s second nomination and the Tina Turner musical received 12 nominations overall.

10 On Your Side talked with Adrienne Warren’s family and faculty in the musical theatre department.

“I won’t make any pretense, she was always special,” Associate Chair Jeff Warner said.

Her gift for music was clear as a baby. Her mother, Andrea Warren, said Adrienne Warren would sneak down the stairs at night to listen to her father rehearse songs for church.

“He finally picked her up and said, ‘Well you learn this song with me’ and that’s how she really got started,” Andrea Warren said.

Adrienne’s parents sat proudly in the audience watching Adrienne Warren take home the Tony.

“She came out from backstage and she sat on her dad’s lap and she cried, he cried, we were all crying,” Andrea Warren said.

Critics rave she rocked as Tina Turner, killing the vocals and a high-intensity workout in high heels.

“She would leave from a two-show day and not being able to walk,” Andrea Warren told WAVY.

Success doesn’t come easily, nor overnight. This was the 34-year-old actress’s second Tony nomination.

“We’ve seen her do the work and the result is because of the work she’s done I don’t know anybody who works harder,” Warner said.

Adrienne Warren is not just a lead actress, Warner said she is a leader.

She returned to the governor’s school via Zoom video during the pandemic to teach and inspire students. She also raises her voice on social justice issues and helps the homeless.

Both teachers and parents are proud of her professional accomplishments but agree there’s more to be proud of.

“I think what I’m more, we’re more, proud of is she has such a giving spirit and giving heart,” Andrea Warren said.

Adrienne Warren just announced her next big project will be a movie, “The Woman King,” with Viola Davis.

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