On the Red Carpet: The Cast and Creatives of Broadway's Hell's Kitchen on What Makes a Real New Yorker | Playbill

Opening Night On the Red Carpet: The Cast and Creatives of Broadway's Hell's Kitchen on What Makes a Real New Yorker

Plus, see Gayle King, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Christopher Jackson, and more show out for opening night.

Alicia Keys and Maleah Joi Moon Jalen Gregory

Alicia Keys' musical love letter to New York, Hell's Kitchen, is officially open on Broadway as of April 20. Previews began March 28 at the Shubert Theatre, with Michael Greif directing, and choreography by Camille A. Brown. Read the reviews here.

Hell's Kitchen features music and lyrics by Keys and a book by Kristoffer Diaz. Inspired by the 15-time Grammy winner's life, the story centers on 17-year-old Ali and her mother, Jersey, 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. 

Click here to purchase the opening night Playbill for Hell's Kitchen

”I want Hell's Kitchen to be a truthful and honest display of the diversity that I experienced as a kid, that we experienced as a kid," Keys says on the opening night carpet. "I wanted you to be able to see so many different people, from so many different places and backgrounds and see—find yourself there. I wanted it to be raw, and truthful, and genuine, and pure."

Hear the cast and creatives sound off on what makes a real New Yorker in the video below. 

The cast of Hell's Kitchen is led by Shoshana Bean as Jersey, Brandon Victor Dixon as Davis, Kecia Lewis as Miss Liza Jane, Chris Lee as Knuck, and Maleah Joi Moon in her Broadway debut as Ali.

"I love that we are redefining, disrupting, rewriting," says Bean. "It's about freedom of discovery, and not feeling restricted or constricted, or that there's some kind of a limit or a cap on what you can explore. And gratefully, in this show, with this creative team and this cast, I feel like I have the ultimate freedom."

"The thing I'm enjoying the most is how we've had so many diverse audiences so far," adds Lewis, who plays Liza, Ali’s piano teacher who inspires a love of music in the  teen. "All kinds of age groups, and people from all over the world, we've had people already flying in from other countries. And so for all of them to have this experience, and be so jazzed, and lifted, and inspired by it, what else is there if you're going to do a Broadway show?"

LISTEN: Maleah Joi Moon Debuts a New Alicia Keys Song Written for Hell's Kitchen

Check out photos from opening night in the gallery below.

Photos: Alicia Keys' Hell's Kitchen Opening Night

The cast also includes Chad Carstarphen as Ray, Vanessa Ferguson as Tiny, Jakeim Hart as Q, Jackie Leon as Jessica, Nyseli Vega as Millie, Lamont Walker II as 'Riq, and Rema Webb as Crystal, alongside ensemble members Reid Clarke, Chloe Davis, Nico DeJesus, Timothy L. Edwards, David Guzman, Raechelle Manalo, Sarah Parker, and Niki Saludez.

Rounding out the company are understudies Desmond Sean Ellington, Badia Farha, Gianna Harris, Jade Milan, Susan Oliveras, and Oscar Whitney Jr.; and swings Takia Hopson, Onyxx Noel, Aaron Nicholas Patterson, and William Roberson. Donna Vivino serves as standby for Jersey.

Most of the cast members are reprising their performances from the musical's 2023 Off-Broadway premiere at The Public Theater, with only Webb, Vega, and Hopson new for the Broadway run. Casting is by Heidi Griffiths and Kate Murray.

Greif reassembled his complete Off-Broadway creative team for the Broadway bow. The music team includes music director Lily Ling and orchestrators Adam Blackstone and Tom Kitt with arrangements by Keys and Blackstone. The creative team also includes scenic designer Robert Brill, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Natasha Katz, sound designer Gareth Owen, projection designer Peter Nigrini, hair and wig designer Mia Neal, and makeup designer Michael Clifton. Foresight Theatrical is general manager, and Danny Maly serves as production stage manager.

READ: Camille A. Brown Is Bringing '90s New York Back to Broadway in Hell's Kitchen

AKW Productions is producing the Broadway run, with Aaron Lustbader serving as executive producer. Co-producers include ROC Nation, DML Productions, Julie Yorn, Mandy Hackett, The Jacobs Family, Sharpton Swindal Productions, John Gore Organization, Terria Joseph, Andy Nahas, James L. Nederlander, Clara Wu Tsai, Grove Entertainment, Independent Presenters Network, Della Pietra Spark Theatricals, and The Public Theater.

Visit HellsKitchen.com.

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