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Glancer Magazine

ON STAGE | Illinoise at Chicago's Navy Pier

Illinoise at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

January 28-February 18,2024

Located at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

A New Kind of Musical Based on Sufjan Stevens’ Acclaimed Concept Album

CHICAGO–Illinoise transforms Grammy and Academy Award-nominated Stevens’ landmark album into a genre-bursting theatrical experience that inspires hope. With a story crafted by Tony Award winner Justin Peck (New York City Ballet, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story) and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview), and original choreography by Peck, Illinoise glows around a campfire as virtuosic dancers, singers, and a live band take you on a mighty journey. Following a premiere presentation at the Fisher Center at Bard College in summer 2023, Illinoise will mark its official press opening at Chicago Shakespeare on Navy Pier, the gateway to the state alongside Lake Michigan. 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.

Illinoise at Chicago Shakespeare Theater


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