A new musical based on the life of Alicia Keys is in the works at the Public Theater

Hell’s Kitchen, a new musical inspired by the life and career of Alicia Keys, is still just in the works—but that doesn’t make us any less excited about the possibility of it becoming a reality.

As first reported by Broadway World, a workshop of the project is currently in development Off Broadway at the Public Theater with “development dates” falling between May 24 and June 18.

Named after the Manhattan neighborhood where Keys grew up, the project is already attached to some very recognizable personalities, according to the Actors’ Equity audition call sheet that was just posted online. Keys herself is writing the music and lyrics, and playwright Kristoffer Diaz is writing the book; Dear Evan Hansen director Michael Greif and Once on This Island choreographer Camille A. Brown are also reportedly on board.

A synopsis reveals that the musical will “tell the story of Ali, a young girl growing up in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen in the 1990s.” According to the call sheet, the protagonist, “a strong, stubborn girl with a rebellious streak,” has already been cast, as have Ali’s single mother, Jersey, and “a young man in the neighborhood that Ali falls in love with” named Knuck. The roles of Liza Jane, “a longtime resident of Ali’s building who becomes [her] piano teacher,” and Davis, “Ali’s father, a traveling musician who has been absent her entire life,” have also already been cast. 

The production is, however, seeking folks to join the ensemble, with auditions taking place on February 17.

Given Keys’s ties to New York, we can’t think of a better city to mount her possible eventual Broadway debut—one that will likely include mentions of some of the artist’s favorite spots around town.

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