Alicia Keys' 'Hell's Kitchen' Musical Earns Rave Review from The New York Times as Broadway Must-See

"Alicia Keys' 'Hell's Kitchen' musical debuts on Broadway to rave reviews, featuring a diverse cast and a story inspired by the artist's upbringing, marking a significant moment for representation on the stage."

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Alicia Keys' 'Hell's Kitchen' Musical Earns Rave Review from The New York Times as Broadway Must-See

Alicia Keys' 'Hell's Kitchen' Musical Earns Rave Review, Distinguishes Itself on Broadway

The Alicia Keys musical 'Hell's Kitchen' has earned its place on Broadway with a thrilling revised show that distinguishes itself as a must-see in the crowded theater season, according to a glowing review by Elisabeth Vincentelli in The New York Times. The musical, which opened at the Shubert Theatre on April 20, 2024, is directed by Michael Greif with choreography by Camille A. Brown.

Vincentelli writes that the "revised show is thrilling from beginning to end, and easily distinguishes itself as one of the rare must-sees in a crowded season." She praises the performance of 21-year-old newcomer Maleah Joi Moon, who plays the 17-year-old Ali, the character inspired by Keys. Moon is described as a "fully formed Broadway presence" and a "marvelous singer, dancer, and actress" who is sure to leave a lasting impression on New York theatergoers.

'Hell's Kitchen' features a diverse cast including Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Chris Lee, and Kecia Lewis. The musical is inspired by Keys' own upbringing in the New York neighborhood and features her R&B hits. Keys, who grew up in Hell's Kitchen, hopes the show will inspire young audiences who may have seen Broadway as a distant dream. "You belong here and you're going to love it," she said.

The cast and crew celebrated the opening night, with Shoshana Bean calling the show "magic" and noting it features "a mother on Broadway like you've never seen before." Maleah Joi Moon reflected on how "little me would be so proud" to see the production on Broadway.

Why this matters: 'Hell's Kitchen' marks a significant moment for representation on Broadway, with a diverse cast and a story inspired by the life of a prominent Black artist. The musical's success could open doors for more diverse voices and stories to be showcased on the biggest stage in theater.

Most of the cast members are reprising their performances from the musical's 2023 Off-Broadway premiere at The Public Theater. The creative team, including music director Lily Ling, orchestrators Adam Blackstone and Tom Kitt, and scenic designer Robert Brill, has been reassembled from the Off-Broadway production. While Vincentelli notes the musical's promise of an "overwhelming theatrical experience" is not fully realized, she emphasizes it still distinguishes itself as a must-see in the crowded Broadway season.

Key Takeaways

  • Alicia Keys' musical 'Hell's Kitchen' opens on Broadway to critical acclaim.
  • Newcomer Maleah Joi Moon delivers a standout performance as the lead character.
  • The diverse cast and Keys' personal connection to the story mark a milestone for Broadway.
  • The musical's success could pave the way for more diverse voices on Broadway.
  • While not fully realized, the musical is still considered a must-see of the season.