Sara Bareilles says it’s “fricking incredible” that Alicia Keys is joining her in the NYC theater world


When she decided to give musical theater a try, Sara Bareilles found herself with a massive hit on her hands: Not only did she end up writing the music for the Broadway show Waitress, but she also starred in it on and off during its four-year run and earned a Tony nomination.  And Sara says she’s now thrilled to welcome fellow Grammy-winning pop star Alicia Keys to the wonderful world of theater.

Tickets for Alicia’s autobiographical musical Hell’s Kitchen, which opens off-Broadway in October, just went on sale. And she’s not the only chart-topping pop star who’s turning to the theater: John Legend is writing the score for an upcoming stage adaptation of the 1959 movie Imitation of Life. 

“I’m so excited for the theater industry, that we’ve got artists of Alicia Keys’ caliber, John Legend, people like that…writing music for the theater!” Sara tells ABC Audio. “It’s unbelievable.”

Hell’s Kitchen, inspired by Alicia’s own life, is set in New York City, and tells the story of a single mom and her 17-year-old daughter Ali, who dreams of making it in the music industry. It features many of Alicia’s classic hits, as well as new music she wrote specifically for the show.

“I think she’s going to have the best time,” Sara says of Alicia’s involvement in the show. “Everyone I hear that comes to the theater is like, ‘I don’t ever want to do anything else."”

But Sara’s even more excited by the fact that Alicia’s name will bring people in the door.

“New audience members who had maybe never seen a Broadway show are going to be huge Alicia Keys fans and come to the theater for the first time,” Sarah says. “It’s fricking incredible!”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.