Sufjan Stevens musical ‘Illinoise’ is heading to Broadway

The Sufjan Stevens musical Illinoise is set to open on Broadway next month.

READ MORE: Sufjan Stevens – ‘Javelin’ review: cult hero remains compelling and fresh

The 90-minute show, directed, choreographed and co-written by Justin Peck, is based on Stevens’ 2005 concept album ‘Illinois’. Previous runs were staged at Bard College’s Fisher Center in New York and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Now, it has been confirmed that Illinoise is heading to the St. James Theatre on Broadway in NYC. It’ll open on April 24 – just one day before the deadline for the 2024 Tony Awards, which celebrate “the pinnacle of theatrical excellence”.

The forthcoming Broadway stint is billed as a “limited engagement” of “16 weeks only”, and will conclude on August 10. You can buy tickets here.

In a statement, Peck explained: “This project has been ruminating in my mind for nearly 20 years, which makes this moment even more sublime.

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 theatre.”

He added: “On behalf of my team, we welcome this rare opportunity with full hearts.”

Peck co-wrote the musical alongside Jackie Sibblies Drury. Stevens, meanwhile, is credited for the music and lyrics, with the arrangements coming courtesy of composer and pianist Timo Andres.

The cast includes Yesenia Ayala, Kara Chan, Ben Cook, Gaby Diaz and Jeanette Delgado. Per a press release, the live band and vocalists for the new Broadway run will be announced soon.

A previous synopsis read: “Featuring new arrangements of the entire album for a live band and three voices – ranging in style from DIY folk and indie rock to marching band and ambient electronics.

“Tony Award-winner Justin Peck transforms the album into a full-length theatrical performance with a cast of virtuosic dancers, singers and musicians in a narrative crafted with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury.”

Reviewing Stevens’ ‘Illinois’ (aka ‘Illinoise’) in 2005, NME wrote: “[This album] might not end up his best record, but it’s his masterpiece so far; a staggering collection of unspeakably precious music.”

The US singer-songwriter released his 10th and most recent full-length effort, ‘Javelin’, last October. Stevens dedicated the record to his “beloved” late partner Evans Richardson, who died the previous April.

‘Javelin’ also landed at Number 11 on NME‘s ‘best albums of 2023’ list, where it was described as “another triumph from the prolific cult hero”.

The post Sufjan Stevens musical ‘Illinoise’ is heading to Broadway appeared first on NME.

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