Unsurprisingly, Hell’s Kitchen, Alicia Keys’ much-anticipated, part-autobiographical musical which opens tonight at the Public Theater (booking to Jan. 14), is marinated in her excellent music, featuring some well-known songs as well as originals she has composed for the show.
The production, directed by Michael Greif, has a through-line of sweetness that overrides a roughness of New York City living it implies but never delivers on—and spiritually never wants to dwell in. Its mean streets are not that mean, its central romantic storyline never rises to a passion that the audience feels invested in, and its family dramas are of the safe, after-school special kind. This is, at its heart, a warm bath of a musical; Camille A. Brown’s fabulous choreography supplies a welcome and impressive swagger.
Source: The Daily Beast
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