• Capsule Reviews

Hell’s Kitchen

April 20, 2024

by Ben Togut

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Alicia Keys brings her tumultuous adolescence to the stage in Hell’s Kitchen, now playing at the Shubert Theatre. Featuring many of Keys’ beloved hits, Hell’s Kitchen is an emotional journey that highlights the power of community to guide us in our darkest moments. 

As Ali, Maleah Joi Moon cements herself as a star on the rise. In her Broadway debut, Joi Moon delivers a defiant and poignant performance, skilfully conveying Ali’s teenage anxieties and desires as she navigates growing up in New York City. As Ali’s overprotective mother, Shoshana Bean commands the stage with her deadpan attitude and dynamite vocals, bringing the house down with an incendiary rendition of ‘Pawn It All.’ Kecia Lewis is another one of the production’s stars. As Miss Liza Jane, Lewis delivers a soulful performance, showcasing impressive control of her lower register with Act I closer ‘Perfect Way to Die.’

One of Hell’s Kitchen’s great pleasures is how well Keys’ hits have been adapted to the stage. Thanks to orchestrations by Tom Kitt and Adam Blackstone, in a Broadway theater Keys’ anthems sound larger than life. When the cast harmonizes on ‘Girl on Fire,’ it is a moment of euphoric epiphany.

Capturing one young woman’s struggle to find herself as an artist and as an individual, Hell’s Kitchen is a story of perseverance brimming with heart.