Rehearsals are underway for The Public Theater's upcoming world premiere run of Hell's Kitchen, a new musical with music and lyrics by 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys and a book by Kristoffer Diaz. The semi-autobiographical work begins performances at the Public's Newman Theater October 24 with opening night set for November 19. The extended run will continue through December 23.
Inspired by Keys' own life, 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 piece has been in development at the Off-Broadway company since at least February, when a casting notice for a developmental workshop was posted. The premiere will be helmed by Michael Greif and choreographed by Camille A. Brown.
Leading the cast will be Maleah Joi Moon as Ali, opposite Shoshana Bean as Ali's mother Jersey, Brandon Victor Dixon as Ali's father Davis, Chad Carstarphen as Ray, Vanessa Ferguson as Tiny, Crystal Monee Hall as Crystal, Jakeim Hart as Q, Chris Lee as Knuck, Jackie Leon as Jessica, Kecia Lewis as Ali's piano teacher Miss Liza Jane, Mariand Torres as Maria, and Lamont Walker II as Riq.
The ensemble will include Reid Clarke, Chloe Olivernaz Davis, Nico DeJesus, Timothy L. Edwards, David A. Guzman, Raechelle Manalo, Sarah Parker, and Niki Saludez, with understudies Desmond Sean Ellington, Badia Farha, Gianna Harris, Jade Milan, Onyxx Noel, Susan Oliveras, William Roberson, Donna Vivino, and Oscar Whitney Jr. rounding out the company.
The musical will feature orchestrations by Adam Blackstone and Tom Kitt, with arrangements by Keys and Blacksone. Kitt is also music consultant, with music coordination by Kristy Norter and music direction by Dominic Fallacaro.
Greif's creative team also includes scenic designer Robert Brill, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Natasha Katz, sound designer Gareth Owen, projection designer Peter Nigrini, and hair and wig designer Mia Neal. Danny Maly will be production stage manager with Tiffany N. Robinson and Luisa Sánchez Colón as stage managers.