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Sufjan Stevens’ Musical ‘Illinoise’ Sets Broadway Opening Date

Sufjan Stevens is bringing his musical talents to Broadway. The singer-songwriter’s show “Illinoise,” based on his album of the same name, will open at the St. James Theatre in the spring.

The musical will begin performances on April 24, which will act as the engagement’s opening night. The limited run will conclude on Aug. 10.

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Choreographer Justin Peck, whose credits include Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and “Carousel,” and Jackie Sibblies Drury (“Fairview”) crafted the show, with live music and vocals, impressionistic choreography and “narratives centering on self-exploration and community,” according to the official press release.

Set to the entirety of Stevens’ 2005 concept album, “Illinoise” revolves around a group of hikers who convene around a campfire to tell their stories. Peck describes the show as 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 in through a unique blend of music, dance and theater.”

“This project has been ruminating in my mind for nearly 20 years, which makes this moment even more sublime,” says Peck. “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.”

Frequent Stevens collaborator Timo Andres will serve as the composer for “Illinoise,” which has no dialogue and is performed by an 11-member band and three vocalists. The musical is transferring to Broadway after two sold-out productions at the Park Avenue Armory and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

The “Illinoise” cast includes several “West Side Story” alum, including Yesenia Ayala, Ben Cook, Jeanette Delgado, Carlos Falu and Craig Salstein; two “So You Think You Can Dance” winners in Gaby Diaz and Ricky Ubeda; as well as 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.

“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,” Drury said. “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.”

Stevens released his 10th studio album “Javelin” in 2023, which he dedicated to his late partner Evans Richardson. He gained wider recognition in Hollywood after contributing two songs — “Mystery of Love” and “Visions of Gideon” –to the soundtrack of 2017’s indie drama “Call Me by Your Name,” starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

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