Alicia Keys is following in the footsteps of rap artist Jay-Z and actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, with her own Broadway production featuring a unique slice of the African-American experience.
Keys is producing the Broadway play Stick Fly, based on a script by Lydia R. Diamond about a well-to-do black family on Martha’s Vineyard.
The play stars Dulé Hill, Mekhi Phifer, Tracie Thoms, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Rosie Benton and Condola Rashad.
The summer vacation island off the coast of Massachusetts has a long history as a destination for wealthy black families, who often were confronted by class and racial divides.
The play centers on the LeVays, a wealthy African American family who get together for a summer weekend at their Martha’s Vineyard home.
The adult sons, aspiring novelist Kent and Flip, a plastic surgeon, have each brought their respective ladies–one white the other black–to meet the parents.
Keys, who has had a stellar music career, also just announced that she will be writing the music for the show.
According to her rep, the “exact placement of the music within the production is still being worked on,” but audiences “should expect original music in the style of Alicia Keys that is used to help propel Lydia’s story along.”
“As someone who walked up and down this boulevard as a young girl, I cannot describe the thrill of having the opportunity of composing songs for a Broadway show,” Keys said in a statement.
“I love the humor and humanity of Stick Fly, and I’m so excited to be a part of the emotional journey this show will take audiences on.”
The move isn’t unprecedented. Stick Fly Director Kenny Leon enlisted Branford Marsalis to compose new music for his own production of the Broadway play, The Mountaintop, according to The New York Times.
Jay-Z and the Smiths produced the successful Broadway musical Fela, based on the life and music of Nigerian composer, performer and activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
Stick Fly previews at the Cort Theater on Nov. 18 and opens on Dec. 8. Check out the video below.