Public Theater show inspired by NYC native Alicia Keys’ life, opening this month

Screenshot of the poster for the musical Hell's Kitchen, opening on Oct. 24 at The Public Theater.
Screenshot of the poster for the musical Hell’s Kitchen, opening on Oct. 24 at The Public Theater.
Photo by Milette Millington

The new musical at The Public Theater in New York City, Hell’s Kitchen, based on some personal experiences of NYC native and singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, will be opening on Oct. 24.

Featuring some of Keys’ music as well as new music, the show is based on the book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Kristoffer Diaz, with choreography by Camille A. Brown, who is the founder of her own theater company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers. It is directed by Michael Greif.

The title of the musical is a reference to the fact that Keys was born in the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen in NYC.

In the musical, 17-year-old Ali lives in a cramped apartment hanging off the side of Times Square, and she is desperate to get her piece of the New York dream. Ali’s mother is just as determined to protect her daughter from the same mistakes she made.

When Ali falls for a talented young drummer, both Ali and her motherare forced to face hard truths about race, defiance, and growing up. It is not until Ali hears a neighbor playing piano that she feels less trapped, opening the door to an unexpected friendship and a radically different future.

The show features a majority of BIPOC artists, including Maleah Joi Moon (Ali), Brandon Victor Dixon (Davis), Chad Carstarphen (Ray/Ensemble), Chris Lee (Knuck), Crystal Monee Hall (Crystal/Ensemble), and Mariand Torres (Maria/Ensemble).

General tickets are $135, and tickets for public supporters and partners are $115. For the extension period (December 26-January 7, 2024), tickets for partners and supporters go on sale October 10, with general tickets on sale October 12.

There will be four accessible performances. The first is on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m., with open captions. The second is Sunday, December 3 at 1PM, where masks are required. The third is Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m., with audio description. Later that day, at 7 p.m., the last performance will be in American Sign Language (ASL).

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