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Sufjan Stevens' 'Illinoise' Musical Coming to Broadway

The dance-based musical is set to the entirety of Sufjan Stevens' beloved 2005 concept album 'Illinois.'

sufjan stevens illinoise
Source: Asthmatic Kitty

Get ready to feel the 'Illinoise' on Broadway.

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Illinoise, the dance-based musical inspired by and set to music from Sufjan Stevens' beloved 2005 album Illinois, is heading to Broadway.

Following successful productions staged at Bard College's Fisher Center and Chicago's Shakespeare Theater and a sold-out run at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan, the show will open at St. James Theatre on April 24 for a limited engagement concluding August 10.

"This project has been ruminating in my mind for nearly 20 years, which makes this moment even more sublime," said Justin Peck, who directed and choreographed the show.

"We feel lucky that we get to continue sharing this unique show with future audiences on Broadway. On behalf of my team, we welcome this rare opportunity with full hearts."

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The musical, which features no dialogue and is performed by 12 dancers backed by an 11-piece live band and three vocalists from arrangements by frequent Stevens collaborator Timo Andres, revolves around a group of hikers telling their stories around a campfire.

"Illinoise is a coming-of-age story that takes the audience on a journey through the American heartland — from campfire storytelling to the edges of the cosmos — all told through a unique blend of music, dance, and theater," Peck said.

Jackie Sibblies Drury, the Pulitzer-winning playwright who co-wrote the show alongside Peck, added, "For me, the thing that makes Illinoise so special is how it allows incredible performers to come together with an audience and welcome emotion and connection with open arms."

"It is rare to have an experience, in a public space, that is moving on an elemental level, so we are all incredibly gratified to bring Illinoise to the St. James on Broadway."

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sufjan stevens live
Source: MEGA

Sufjan Stevens released his latest album, 'Javelin,' in October.

Peck previously choreographed Steven Spielberg's 2021 West Side Story adaptation, and the Illinoise cast includes West Side Story alums Yesenia Ayala, Ben Cook, Jeanette Delgado, Carlos Falu, and Craig Salstein plus So You Think You Can Dance winners Gaby Diaz and Ricky Ubeda and dancers Kara Chan, Christine Flores, Jada German, Zachary Gonder, Rachel Lockhart, Brandt Martinez, Dario Natarelli, Tyrone Reese, Craig Salstein, Ahmad Simmons, Byron Tittle, and Alejandro Vargas.

"A lot of the show is really about the catharsis of opening up to the community around oneself," Peck told The New York Times in an interview. "We have this kind of lightning in a bottle with this show that is not something that one can create intentionally. We want to preserve the energy of the show, and the longer we wait between phases of this, the greater we risk losing what that energy is."

“The music and the story and the movement combine in your own mind, rather than being combined onstage in front of you," Drury added in another interview. "And there’s something about that that feels really beautiful and exciting. It just allows the audience to really empathize and connect emotionally with what's going on onstage."

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Stevens released his latest album, Javelin, in October 2023. He dedicated the release to "the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend Evans Richardson, who passed away in April."


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