Recommended Off-Broadway: HELL’S KITCHEN (The Public Theater)

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by Tony Frankel on September 12, 2023

in Theater-New York


The world premiere of new coming-of-age musical, HELL’S KITCHEN, with music and lyrics by New York’s own 15-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys and playwright Kristoffer Diaz (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety), now in previews at The Public Theater with the official opening on November 19, 2023. The show has been extended twice, first to December 23, 2023, and now to Sunday January 7, 2024.

Tickets are on sale this week at The Public. $40 tickets are available by digital lottery provided by TodayTix and an in-person lottery in the lobby of The Public Theater begins two hours prior to each performance, with sign-ups 30 minutes earlier. Student tickets in advance at The Public Theater Box Office with valid student ID.

In a cramped apartment hanging off the side of Times Square, 17-year-old Ali 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 mother and daughter must face hard truths about race, defiance, and growing up. Ali feels trapped, until the sound of a neighbor playing piano opens the door to an unexpected friendship and a radically different future. Loosely based on Keys’ personal experiences, the show features both newly created music and the soulful, iconic songs Keys is already known for.

The direction is by Michael Greif, (Dear Evan Hansen), choreography by Camille A. Brown (Hippest Trip — The Soul Train Musical), music supervision by Adam Blackstone, orchestrations by Blackstone and Tom Kitt, arrangements by Keys and Blackstone, music consulting by Kitt, music coordination by Kristy Norter, and music direction by Dominic Fallacaro.

The complete cast of HELL’S KITCHEN (photos below) will include Shoshana Bean (Jersey), Chad Carstarphen (Ray/Ensemble), Reid Clarke (Ensemble), Chloe O. Davis (Ensemble), Nico DeJesus (Ensemble), Brandon Victor Dixon (Davis), Timothy L. Edwards, (Ensemble), Desmond Sean Ellington (Understudy), Badia Farha (Understudy), Vanessa Ferguson (Tiny/Ensemble), David A. Guzman (Ensemble), Crystal Monee Hall (Crystal/Ensemble), Gianna Harris (Understudy), Jakeim Hart (Q/Ensemble), Chris Lee (Knuck), Jackie Leon (Jessica/Ensemble), Kecia Lewis (Miss Liza Jane), Raechelle Manalo (Ensemble), Jade Milan (Understudy), Maleah Joi Moon (Ali), Onyxx Noel (Understudy), Susan Oliveras (Understudy), Sarah Parker (Ensemble), William Roberson (Understudy), Niki Saludez (Ensemble), Mariand Torres (Maria/Ensemble), Donna Vivino (Understudy), and Lamont Walker II (Riq/Ensemble).

HELL’S KITCHEN features scenic design by Robert Brill, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Gareth Owen, projection design by Peter Nigrini, hair and wig design by Mia Neal, and prop management by Claire M. Kavanah.



Image of Shoshana Bean

Shoshana Bean

Image of Chad Carstarphen

Chad Carstarphen

Image of Reid Clarke

Reid Clarke

Image of Chloe O Davis

Chloe O Davis

Image of Nico DeJesus

Nico DeJesus

Image of Brandon Victor Dixon

Brandon Victor Dixon

Image of Timothy L. Edwards

Timothy L. Edwards

Image of Desmond Sean Ellington

Desmond Sean Ellington

Image of Badia Farha

Badia Farha

Image of Vanessa Ferguson

Vanessa Ferguson

Image of David A. Guzman

David A. Guzman

Image of Crystal Monee Hall

Crystal Monee Hall

Image of Gianna Harris

Gianna Harris

Image of Jakeim Hart

Jakeim Hart

Image of Chris Lee

Chris Lee

Image of Jackie Leon

Jackie Leon

Image of Kecia Lewis

Kecia Lewis

Image of Raechelle Manalo

Raechelle Manalo

Image of Jade Milan

Jade Milan

Image of Maleah Joi Moon

Maleah Joi Moon

Image of Onyxx Noel

Onyxx Noel

Image of Susan Oliveras

Susan Oliveras

Image of Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker

Image of William Roberson

William Roberson

Image of Niki Saludez

Niki Saludez

Image of Mariand Torres

Mariand Torres

Image of Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

Image of Lamont Walker II

Lamont Walker II

Along with HELL’S KITCHEN, The Public Theater’s 2023-24 season at its downtown Astor Place home is also offering MANAHATTA. The gripping play by Mary Kathryn Nagle and directed by Laurie Woolery returns to The Public, where Nagle first developed the epic play about a young Native American woman connecting with her ancestral Lenape homeland. A gripping journey from the fur trade of the 1600s to the stock trade of today, Manahatta tells the story of Jane Snake, a brilliant young Native American woman with a Stanford MBA. Jane reconnects with her ancestral Lenape homeland, known as Manahatta, when she moves from Oklahoma to New York for a banking job just before the 2008 financial meltdown. Jane’s struggle to reconcile her new life with the expectations and traditions of her family and Nation are powerfully interwoven with the heartbreaking history of the Delaware Nation’s expulsion from their land. Both old and new Manahatta converge in a lesson about the dangers of living in a society where there’s no such thing as enough.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kim December 2, 2023 at 6:29 am

Alicia, you are a poet, visionary, scholar, artist, truth teller,creative alchemist and teacher for generations to follow of what artistry can manifest. It was a come to Jesus moment with the last scene of your play. Everyone singing and rejoicing in the city that we love and the woman that created this extraordinary work of art. It was fire.


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