Tina Turner and Oprah (Who?) Stop Traffic on Broadway

Tina Turner and Oprah (Who?) Stop Traffic on Broadway

It’s not everyday that Oprah Winfrey is upstaged, but that’s what happened last Thursday at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater for the opening night of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”

About 15 minutes before curtain time, a black stretch Range Rover pulled up to the theater and out came Ms. Winfrey and Tina Turner. “Ti-na! Ti-na!” the crowd gathered outside chanted, almost ignoring Ms. Winfrey.

The two hurried down a red carpet, which had been cleared of lesser celebrities, and straight to seats nearby Whoopi Goldberg, Spike Lee, Anna Wintour, Bernadette Peters and Martha Stewart.

Guests were thrilled at the prospect of meeting Ms. Turner.

“If I meet her, I will probably bow, I might even curtsy,” said Matthew Lopez, a playwright.

Deborah Cox, the singer, said: “I will just bow at her feet and tell her she’s ‘simply the best.’ I’ll be real corny with it.”

Theo Germaine, a young nonbinary actor, said: “If I met her, I would tell her my partner’s mother is one of her biggest fans.”

Is that really the best way to chat up an older star?

“Well, I wouldn’t say that right away,” they said.

Ms. Turner, a hair clip holding the bangs out of her eyes, sat next to her husband, Erwin Bach, as their romance played out onstage. Unlike others in the audience, Ms. Turner did not sing along with the numbers.

“You want to know how I feel with all of these people behind me, who just did my show?” Ms. Turner said onstage, joining the cast for the curtain call. “Great.”

“This musical is my life, but it’s like poison that turned to medicine,” she added. “I can never be as happy as I am now.”

The after-party took place at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Adrienne Warren, who plays Ms. Turner, arrived just before midnight. She stuck around for a private dinner with Ms. Turner, her husband and some close friends at the star’s hotel.

“I just want her to be happy,” Ms. Warren said. “She’s turning 80 years old, and given the responsibility to share her story with the world, I don’t take that lightly.”

Paul Rudd, the 50-year-old actor celebrated as ageless by countless memes and BuzzFeed listicles, stood in a line of children Monday night, hoisting a blue bowling ball and smiling for the cameras. He was at the Lucky Strike bowling alley on West 42nd Street for his all-star tournament to benefit SAY, the Stuttering Association for the Young.

“It’s hard being a kid, it’s hard suffering with a stutter,” Mr. Rudd said, who was dressed casually in a sweater and button-down shirt. He became involved with SAY after meeting its founder, Taro Alexander, to play a character who stuttered in “Three Days of Rain” on Broadway in 2006.

More than a dozen of Mr. Rudd’s actor friends showed up, including Brandon Victor Dixon, Daphne Rubin Vega, Alysia Reiner, Geneva Carr and Alex Brightman, who were assigned to be “lane captains.” And why a celebrity bowling tournament, which seems like a retro plot device out of “The Honeymooners?”

“I did another event many years ago for a children’s hospital and it started as a poker tournament,” Mr. Rudd said. “But what kid can play poker? So we scrapped that idea and started bowling, which is a great event because lots of people can do it. And the kids are having a blast.”

The event raised about $90,000 for SAY’s summer camp, though the children were too excited by the food and games to think that far ahead.

“Don’t try to go healthy at a bowling alley,” said Rachel Dratch, the comedian, as trays of sliders and breaded mozzarella sticks were delivered to the lanes. “Get the fries or the chicken fingers, don’t order a salad.”

Mr. Rudd added: “If you’re getting something like pizza or chicken fingers, just make sure to take advantage of the hand sanitizer stations, because apparently the three holes in a bowling ball are the filthiest places on earth.”

“So I would suggest doing that before digging into the calamari,” he said.

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