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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Hell's Kitchen

Alicia Keys in rehearsal for Hell’s Kitchen.

Oct 24 – Dec 10, 2023
81 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023, USA

Before she became Alicia Keys, Alicia Augello Cook was an only child living with her mom in a small apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. Mother and daughter listened to Thelonious Monk and Billie Holiday. By preschool, Alicia was playing the piano, and at the tender age of 15 she was signed by Columbia Records. Loosely based on Keys’s adolescence, Hell’s Kitchen is a coming-of-age musical about Ali, an ambitious teenager whose life is changed by music. “This is not Tina Turner, this is not the Temptations, this is not MJ, this is not Carole King,” Keys recently told The New York Times. “It’s really so much more about relationships and identity and trying to find who you are.” Keys wrote the music and lyrics, the playwright Kristoffer Diaz wrote the book, and Michael Greif directs the show’s world premiere. —Jensen Davis