Theatre Review: 'Hell's Kitchen' by Alicia Keys at the Broadway Theater

Be careful of musicals that claim to love New York City. This journal regularly lists reasons to admire New York, yet any homage to this great trash-stained city can become generic quickly. 

Learn from last season's New York, New York tourist booklet. 

Alicia Keys's "Empire State of Mind" hook thunders near the end of Hell's Kitchen: New York is a “concrete jungle where dreams are made of” because “nothing you can't do / now you're in New York.”

It's a stirring anthem, especially when Keys or her musical's stand-in Ali, played by Maleah Joi Moon, extends the “e” and “o” of “New York” over the drum and piano like the Brooklyn Bridge's support cables.

That refrain at the Shubert Theatre, when the bass is loud enough to activate a seismograph, shows why the song is so popular and our mayor's favorite pump-up music.

As storytelling, “Empire State of Mind” is limited to generalities. Jay-Z's rap lines' vivid picaresque neighborhood-hopping is even removed from this song.

Hell's Kitchen director Michael Greif and choreographer Camille A. Brown energize the grand finale, but it masks an underdeveloped core. Ali loves this concrete shithole. 

Why? Why does a 1990s musical set end with an Obama-era recession song? Why is this happening in front of a Real Housewives-style New York landmark montage?

Select Red Wings eliminated from playoff race despite comeback victory against CanadiensRed Wings eliminated from playoff race despite comeback victory against Canadiens 

Thanks For Watching

Read More :