Sufjan Steven’s ‘Illinois’ getting a dance/theater adaptation
Sufjan Stevens' beloved 2005 album Illinois is becoming a dance/theater piece. Justin Peck, who has collaborated with Sufjan before, directs and choreographs the production, and wrote the story with playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury. It features new arrangements of the whole album for a live band and three voices, with music and lyrics by Sufjan. The description reads:
Three brilliantly imaginative artists—Justin Peck, Sufjan Stevens, and Jackie Sibblies Drury—unite to create an ecstatic pageant of storytelling, theater, dance, and live music. Stevens’ 2005 concept album Illinois enjoys cult status for its lush orchestrations and wildly inventive portrayal of the state’s people, landscapes, and history, complete with UFOs, zombies, and predatory wasps.
Tony Award-winner Justin Peck (Carousel on Broadway, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, New York City Ballet) 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.
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, Illinois will lead us on a mighty journey through the American heartland, from campfire storytelling to the edges of the cosmos.
Illinois runs from June 23-July at Sosnoff Theater at Fisher Center in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY's, and tickets are on sale now. Deadline reports that a press opening for the production will also be revealed soon at a to-be-announced Chicago theater.