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A 26 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012

THE

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ARTS & LIFE 10 questions for Luisa Marshall

How ‘Tina’ turned a 1987 gig into a career starter Now staff twitter@tomzillich

Before she hits the stage Sunday, Feb. 26 at White Rock’s Coast Capital Playhouse with Simply the Best, the Now hit Luisa Marshall with “10 Questions” related to her acclaimed Tina Turner tribute show. The Now: When was the first time you sang a Tina Turner song? Marshall: “Hmm, I remember after I watched Tina’s concert in Japan in 1987, I was so blown away that I decided to do a medley of Tina hit songs with my old band, Hall Of Fame. My first attempt to sing Tina’s hits was at the Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel in Manila, Philippines, way back 1987. The crowd loved it.” Was there a particular event in your life that made you think,‘Yes, I want to be a Tina Turner tribute artist’? “It wasn’t easy for me to decide whether I wanted to be a Tina Turner tribute artist or not. I had my doubts and fears. I hesitated after I did it for the first time in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 1995. That was when I finally wore a Tina Turner wig just for fun during my band’s ‘Proud Mary’ gimmick. When the crowd went nuts with my silly impersonation, the overwhelming applause inspired me. When I came back to Canada, I eventually experimented further, seriously studied her to perfect my tribute act.” How many times have you seen Turner in concert? “Well, I’ve seen her for the first time in Japan. It was actually my sister who convinced me to watch. We were lucky to get a day off from the manager of the bar

we were scheduled to perform that night. I remember getting lost on the subway train. We were running like crazy Filipinos to catch the grand entrance of the queen of rock and roll. Wow! We were in awe. I was mesmerized for months. Many years later, I saw her twice here in Vancouver.” What’s more difficult, trying to sing in Tina’s voice or fit into those tight leather skirts? “Ha ha, you’ll never guess. It’s actually the high-heeled stiletto shoes — my most hated shoes that have actually taken me to a lot of places all over the world. Although painful, several pairs I have are my second biggest investments.” Was it easy to find that great Tina-like wig? “I have lots of wigs from different eras but my favorite one is her ’90s look — big, fluffy and shorter. It was perfect for me. And no, it wasn’t easy to find one, so I had it custom made and it’s real hair, not synthetic. Very expensive. The company made it look so close to Tina’s hair that fans from all over really loved it. It works.” Have you ever met her in person — and what would you say if you ever did? “Oprah’s producer called and invited me twice in the past. Both times I ended up warming up the audience. My most memorable one was at Caesar’s Palace Colosseum. I was on stage for 20 minutes getting interviewed, and then sang ‘Proud Mary’ while Oprah, Tina and Cher watched. I met her (Turner) on the way back to my seat. I was speechless and numb the whole time (laughts). If I ever got the chance to talk to Tina, I will say it’s an honour for me to pay tribute to my idol.” What’s the biggest stage (most number of people) for your tribute to Tina?

It wasn’t easy for me to decide whether I wanted to be a Tina Turner tribute artist or not. I had doubts and fears.

“Peach Festival in Penticton. My Tina Turner tribute in 2010 broke all records of this festival since it started in 1947. I rocked the stage with my band and dancers in front of an estimated 12,000 people. I actually broke my own record of over 10,000 people at the PNE main stage several years ago.” What’s your favourite Tina song to sing?

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“There are a few great ones but my favorite is ‘Simply The Best.’ It’s one of the most inspiring, positive songs ever. I will never get tired of it — very uplifting.” Are there any of her songs you dread singing (be honest)? “Oh yes! ‘Steamy Windows’ (laughs). I never had a chance to sing ‘Golden Eye’ but hope I won’t ever get to sing it.” Finish this sentence: If I weren’t singing the songs of Tina Turner, I’d be.... “Still singing but as myself with the influence of some of my most favourites. I’m a fan of different types of music; you can see it in my other show called Luisa as Her Divas. I love the velvety Natalie Cole, electrifying vocal renditions of Patti Labelle and a few heartwarming Whitney Houston ballad songs that will challenge me to a different level. Or, my other answer to this question is, I’d be doing my other passion: hosting, writing , editing and filming my TV talk show, Simply The Best: The Luisa Marshall Show, which airs on Shaw multicultural channel 116 every Monday at 9 p.m. This TV show is the extension of myself. I’m proud to say the show is in its third season now. I just love my viewers.” Tickets are $39.50 (plus fees) for Marshall’s Simply The Best show at Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd., White Rock. For show info and tickets, call 604-536-7535 or visit www.rockitboy.com.

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Surrey Now February 23 2012  

Surrey Now February 23 2012

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