Sufjan Stevens Dance Musical Illinoise Will Open on Broadway This Season | Playbill

Broadway News Sufjan Stevens Dance Musical Illinoise Will Open on Broadway This Season

Directed and choreographed by Justin Peck, the show is currently playing an Off-Broadway premiere at Park Avenue Armory.

Ricky Ubeda and Ben Cook in Illinoise Liz Lauren

The Sufjan Stevens dance musical Illinoise will become a surprise last-minute addition to the current Broadway season. Currently running Off-Broadway at Park Avenue Armory, the work will transfer to Broadway's St. James Theatre beginning April 24 and will open the same night. The strictly limited engagement will continue through August 10.

Read reviews for the Park Avenue Armory run here.

The work is inspired by Stevens' album Illinois and features direction and choreography by Justin Peck (CarouselWest Side Story). The musical's story is by Peck and Pulitzer winner Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview). The production is set around a campfire as dancers, singers, and a live band lead audiences on an epic journey set to Stevens' music, arranged by Timo Andres.

The dance ensemble for the Broadway bow will feature much of the performers from the show's earlier runs Off-Broadway and at Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Yard. The company will include Yesenia Ayala (West Side Story), Kara Chan (Twyla Tharp Dance), Ben Cook (West Side Story), Gaby Diaz (So You Think You Can Dance?), Jeanette Delgado (West Side Story), Carlos Falu (West Side Story), Christine Flores (Dance Heginbotham), Jada German (Twyla Tharp Dance), Zachary Gonder (Pam Tanowitz Dance), Rachel Lockhart (Jacob's Pillow), Brandt Martinez (Aladdin), Dario Natarelli (Maestro), Tyrone Reese, Craig Salstein (West Side Story), Ahmad Simmons (Fosse/Verdon), Byron Tittle (Dorrance Dance), Ricky Ubeda (So You Think You Can Dance?), and Alejandro Vargas.

Vocalists and band members will be announced in the coming days.

The musical's sudden Broadway plan is uncommon, though not unprecedented. As recent as last season, a revival of The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window made a similarly last-second hop to the Main Stem following a premiere run at Off-Broadway's Brooklyn Academy of Music. Opening in time to be eligible for 2024 Tony Awards has cost the production a preview period, which is even more uncommon in the 21st century, at least.

The work was co-commissioned by Fisher Center at Bard (where the piece made its world premiere in 2023), Park Avenue Armory, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Southbank Centre, TO Live, and Perelman Performing Arts Center. The show's Chicago run finished February 18.

"We're absolutely thrilled to bring Illinoise to the St. James Theatre on Broadway," says Peck in a statement. "This project has been ruminating in my mind for nearly 20 years, which makes this moment even more sublime."

"Supporting the craft of each of the artists involved in making up this show has been a joy and an inspiration," adds Drury. "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."

The creative team includes music director and supervisor Nathan Koci, music arranger and orchestrator Andres, scenic designer Adam Rigg, lighting designer Brandon Stirling Baker, sound designer Garth MacAleavey, costume designers Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, prop designer Andrew Diaz, and mask designer Julian Crouch. Thomas Gates is production stage manager.

Orin Wolf, John Styles, and David Binder are producing, in association with Seaview and Executive Producer Nate Koch.


See pictures from the Chicago run of Illinoise below:

Photos: Illinoise At Chicago Shakespeare Theater

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