Video: See Kecia Lewis Sing the Powerful 'Perfect Way to Die' From Hell's Kitchen | Playbill

Special Features Video: See Kecia Lewis Sing the Powerful 'Perfect Way to Die' From Hell's Kitchen

Lewis is Tony-nominated for playing an inspiring piano teacher in the Alicia Keys musical.

Kecia Lewis first made her Broadway debut at the age of 18 in the musical Dreamgirls (where she understudied the role of Effie). After over 40 years in the business, Lewis finally has a Tony Award nomination, and she can only express gratitude that it's for Hell's Kitchen: "Who has it better than me?" she exclaims. 

In Hell's Kitchen, which features music by Grammy Award-winning musician Alicia Keys and a book by Kristoffer Diaz, Lewis plays piano teacher Miss Liza Jane, who helps the young Ali to discover a love of music. Above, in an exclusive performance, see Lewis perform the show's powerful Act One closer: "Perfect Way to Die," a ballad about America's legacy of police brutality and racism against Black people. She sings it as a way to inspire Ali to continue to pursue music, despite the obstacles that stand in her way. The video was filmed at Alchemical Studios.

When asked what the Tony nomination means to her, Lewis answers: "To be at this season of my life, number one. Playing a role that is so much a part of who I am, which is I try to mentor young actors...And singing a hugely powerful song that speaks to the same kinds of things that I believe in as myself. It's amazing."

In Hell's Kitchen, Miss Liza Jane plays a crucial role in Ali's life. For Lewis, her dad was that figure in her own life, the one who supported her acting career without reservations: "Before he passed, he was my biggest cheerleader. My mom was afraid for me. My mom was like, 'An actor for a living? What?!' My dad was the one who said, 'You got this kid, you got this.'"

Besides Dreamgirls and Hell's Kitchen, Lewis has a legendary Broadway resume, which includes the original productions of The Gospel at Colonus and Once on This Island. For Lewis, the Tony nomination is a welcomed acknowledgment. "I know that I've done good work before," she says. "But sometimes, it has to all synergistically come together. And that's what this did: this role, this season, this time, this show—all of those things. It's pretty magical, actually."

Hell's Kitchen is currently the most-nominated musical at the 2024 Tony Awards, with 13 nominations including Best Musical.

Photos: Behind The Scenes of Kecia Lewis' Exclusive Performance of "Perfect Way To Die" from Hell's Kitchen

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