Alicia Keys has had a prolific 2023. This year, she released a new Christmas album, celebrated the 20th anniversary of her album, The Diary Of Alicia Keys, and toured North America. As 2023 comes to a close, Keys has set her sights on an exciting 2024, announcing that her musical, Hell’s Kitchen will be coming to Broadway in the new year. The stage jukebox musical premiered off-Broadway just last month at the Newman Theater in New York. The current iteration opened on November 19 and will run through January 7, 2024.
Beginning March 28, 2024, Broadway performances will take place at the Shubert Theatre in New York, with tickets on sale now. The show’s runtime clocks in at 2.5 hours with an intermission. It will play eight performances a week, with two shows each on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Throughout the past month, Alicia Keys has been heavily promoting her latest endeavor and is taking it to the next level with its upcoming Broadway adaptation. As we await the premiere of her Broadway musical, here is what we know so far about Alicia Keys’ Hell’s Kitchen.
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Who’s Involved In Alicia Keys’ Hell’s Kitchen?
Alicia Keys handles the music and lyrics of Hell’s Kitchen and does not appear in the production. This is not her first introduction to Broadway as she previously served as a producer and musical composer for Stick Fly in 2012. The music for Hell’s Kitchen includes songs from Alicia Keys’ discography, such as “Fallin’,” “No One,” “Girl On Fire,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “Empire State Of Mind.” According to the musical’s website, these songs “appear alongside previously unreleased and entirely new music from Keys.”
In addition to Alicia Keys, the creative team behind Hell’s Kitchen includes many notable names in theater. Pulitzer Prize finalist Kristoffer Diaz handles the book, Tony Award Nominee Camille A. Brown choreographed the show, and Tony Award nominee Michael Greif serves as its director. Musical orchestrators for Hell’s Kitchen include Adam Blackstone and Tom Kitt, with arrangements by Keys and Blackstone. The official cast for the Broadway adaptation has yet to be announced. Leading stars for the off-Broadway show include Maleah Joi Moon, Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Kecia Lewis, and more.
Hell’s Kitchen Is Loosely Based On Alicia Keys’ Life
Hell’s Kitchen is inspired by Alicia Keys’ own life. According to Playbill, “The musical centers on 17-year-old Ali and her mother, sharing a cramped apartment near Times Square. Ali wants to live out her NYC dream, but mom is scared her daughter will repeat her own mistakes.” The musical’s title, Hell’s Kitchen, refers to the New York neighborhood where Keys lived during her childhood. Of the area, she told CBS News, “When I lived there, it was how it sounds. There was a lot of desolation there, there was a lot of drug addiction there, there was a lot of prostitution there. It was side-by-side, the desolation and the possibility. And I think that’s what kind of gave me a lot of hunger and grit.”
The Reviews Are In
So far, the reception for Hell’s Kitchen has been mostly positive. The Guardian gave the show a glowing 5-star review, saying that “Hell’s Kitchen is a marvel! A live-wire theater adaptation of Alicia Keys’ hit list that brings the house down.” Variety also positively reacted to the show, writing that it is “a sparkling story with iconic music and absolute powerhouse vocals.” Other publications like The New York Times, Vulture, and the Los Angeles Times positively reviewed Hell’s Kitchen as well.
Former New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley told CBS News that while he had only seen previews of the show, he noted that the changes to Alicia Keys’ popular songs to fit the plot might “de-jukebox-ify the show.” He said, “I like it when familiar songs sound fresh. You like to think that, especially her fan base, will have listened to those songs so often, that they may be sort of startled.” After Hell’s Kitchen makes its Broadway debut, we will see how the reception compares to its initial feedback. For now, this is all we know about Alicia Keys’ Broadway musical. Check back in with HotNewHipHop for the latest updates.