With music and lyrics by Keys and a book by Kristoffer Diaz, Hell’s Kitchen will begin previews at the Public on October 24, with an opening night of November 19. The engagement will run through December 10.
The cast includes Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Chad Carstarphen, Reid Clarke, Chloe Davis, Nico DeJesus, among others. Michael Greif directs, with choreography by Camille A. Brown.
The musical is described as a coming-of-age story set in a cramped apartment in the neighborhood of the title near Times Square, where 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. The story is based loosely on Keys’ own experiences.
In addition to Hell’s Kitchen, the Public’s 2023-24 season, announced in full today, will include:
- The Tempest, a new musical adaptation of the Shakespeare play, with music and lyrics by Benjamin Velez, choreography by Tiffany Rea-Fisher and direction by Laurie Woolery. The Public Works production will run at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park August 27–September 3;
- New York Premiere of Manahatta, by Mary Kathryn Nagle and directed by Laurie Woolery. Described as “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” (November 16–December 17, opening December 5);
- The world premiere of The Ally by Itamar Moses, directed by Lila Neugebauer and set for February 2024. Josh Radnor stars as Asaf, who is asked to sign a social justice manifesto and becomes embroiled in an increasingly conflicted web of relationships that challenge his commitments as a liberal, a husband, an academic, an American, an atheist, and a Jew.
- The New York premiere of Sally & Tom by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III and presented next March in association with The Guthrie Theater. The play is described as “an edgy dramedy that celebrates the craft of theater while taking a hard look at history. The off-off-off-Broadway theater troupe Good Company is putting on a play about Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.”
- The world premiere of Jordans by Ife Olujobi, directed by Whitney White and set for April 2024. “Jordans is a piercing exploration of assimilation, racial capitalism, success, and survival. At an overwhelmingly white workplace where appearance is everything, a long-suffering receptionist finds herself in personal, professional, and psychic jeopardy when her ruthless boss hires a hip new employee in an effort to improve the company’s image and ‘culture.’ Suddenly, the two young, Black social climbers are forced together and torn apart by their race, ambition, and otherworldly circumstance.”
Also as part of its 2023-24 season, the Public will partner with NYU Skirball for the North American premiere of DruidO’Casey, the Druid Theatre’s presentation of Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy. Performances at NYU Skirball will run from October 4–14.