Brooklyn native Dawnn Lewis talks role in Broadway hit 'Tina'

The Grammy Award-winning actor returned to her roots to star in the musical "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" on Broadway.

News 12 Staff

Oct 11, 2021, 5:26 PM

Updated 1,010 days ago

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After decades of keeping fans entertained acting in shows such as "A Different World" and "Hanging' with Mr. Cooper," Brooklyn's Dawnn Lewis is now taking on Broadway.
The Grammy Award-winning actor returned to her roots to star in the musical "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" on Broadway. The show tells the story of Tina Turner's life, from her childhood in Tennessee to her transformation into a rock 'n' roll star.
Lewis plays Zelma Bullock, Turner's mother.
The roller coaster life of Turner hit close to home for Lewis, she says, having experienced domestic violence throughout periods of her life.
"I unfortunately married someone who presented themselves one way, and once we got married, revealed himself to be domestically violent as well," Lewis says. "But because of watching my mom's survival and my thriving because of my mom's survival, I recognized what it was and was immediately able to get out."
Her marriage lasted five months, and she now continues to hold onto her faith and sing the songs she learned as a child at the church she worships at, the Christian Cultural Center in East New York.
She also spends her time back home visiting neighborhood namesakes, such as a favorite spot from her childhood, Allan's Bakery in Crown Heights, and giving back to the community through her nonprofit organization, A New Day Foundation.
"This journey has been amazing, and it's all because of God – God's greatness, God's goodness," she says. "Him positioning me at one time to then open up a door so many years later that I didn't even know was going to be available."


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