Sufjan Stevens, Justin Peck, and Jackie Sibblies Drury Musical Illinoise Begins March 2 at Park Avenue Armory | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Sufjan Stevens, Justin Peck, and Jackie Sibblies Drury Musical Illinoise Begins March 2 at Park Avenue Armory

The musical arrives in New York following its recent Chicago engagement.

Company of Illinoise Liz Lauren

The new musical Illinoise, based on Grammy nominee Sufjan Stevens’ acclaimed concept album Illinois, begins previews at the Park Avenue Armory March 2. The musical arrives in New York following its recent engagement at Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Yard, which ended February 18. Opening night in New York is set for March 7. 

With a libretto by Tony winner Justin Peck (Carousel)—who also directs and choreographs—and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview), performances are currently scheduled through March 26 in the Wade Thompson Drill Hall.

The production is set around a campfire as dancers, singers, and a live band lead audiences on an epic journey. The cast features Kara Chan, Ben Cook, Jeanette Delgado, Gaby Diaz, Robbie Fairchild, Christine Flores, Jada German, Zachary Gonder, Rachel Lockhart, Dario Natarelli, Tyrone Reese, Craig Salstein, Ahmad Simmons, Byron Tittle, Ricky Ubeda, and Alejandro Vargas.

The company also includes vocalists Elijah Lyons, Shara Nova, Tasha Viets-VanLear and instrumentalists Christina Courtin, Sean Peter Forte, Domenica Fossati, Daniel Freedman, Kathy Halvorson, Nathan Koci, Eleonore Oppenheim, Brett Parnell, Brandon Ridenour, Kyra Sims, and Jessica Tsang.

Stevens‘ acclaimed 2005 concept album is known for its lush orchestrations and inventive portrayal of the state’s people, landscapes, and history—complete with UFOs, zombies, and predatory wasps. This work weaves together delicate folk narratives about blossoming queerness, orchestral anthems destined for cinematic montages, and jazz tunes about the state’s ghost towns. This stage adaptation made its world premiere last year at the Fisher Center at Bard.

The creative team also includes music director and supervisor Nathan Koci, music arranger and orchestrator Timo Andres (who penned new arrangements of the album), scenic designer Adam Rigg, lighting designer Brandon Stirling Baker, sound designer Garth MacAleavey, costume designers Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, props designer Andrew Diaz, mask designer Julian Crouch, associate director and choreographer Adriana Pierce, associate music director Sean Peter Forte, casting consultant Taylor Williams, production stage manager Rick Steiger, and production manager Brian Freeland.

Illinoise, originally commissioned, developed, and produced at the Fisher Center at Bard, is a co-commission of Park Avenue Armory, Fisher Center at Bard, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Perelman Performing Arts Center, Southbank Center, and TO Live, and produced in association with ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann by special arrangement with the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC).


Photos: Illinoise At Chicago Shakespeare Theater

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