Sufjan Stevens' Acclaimed Album Coming to the Stage in New Broadway Musical “Illinoise”

The show will open on Wednesday, April 24 at the St. James Theatre

<p>Theo Wargo/Getty Images</p> Sufjan Stevens in March 2017

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Sufjan Stevens in March 2017

Sufjan Stevens is the latest singer-songwriter to see his music serve as the inspiration for a Broadway show.

The Grammy and Oscar-nominated musician's acclaimed 2005 concept album Illinois has been transformed into a new theatrical stage musical, Illinoise, set to debut on the Great White Way this spring.

Illinoise is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Justin Peck (Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Broadway's Carousel), with an original story by Peck and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview, Marys Seacole).

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Performances begin April 24 (at 2pm ET) at the St. James Theatre in New York City. The debut will also act as the engagement's opening performance.

The strictly limited engagement will run through Saturday, August 10, 2024.

Set to the entirety of Stevens’ album with new arrangements by composer, pianist and frequent Stevens collaborator Timo Andres, Illinoise follows a group of hikers telling their stories around a campfire.

The show is billed as "a new kind of musical," and not one in the traditional sense of the word.

"It has music; it has stagecraft, design and definitely storytelling. But it’s not presented in the most conventional way," Peck explained during a February episode of Variety's theater podcast Stagecraft, comparing the show to the Tony-winning masterpiece A Chorus Line. "It’s about this group of humans, and one by one we’re getting their stories. They come forward and they share. Some of them are short, single songs. Some of them are a little more extensive. Some of them build and build and build, and relationships form. And somewhere in the background of all that is a more substantial, extensive storyline that eventually unfolds."

Three vocalists (set to be named later) and an 11-member band perform Stevens' score, which ranges in style from indie rock and DIY folk to ambient electronics, marching band, and everything in between.

The company will be made up of Yesenia Ayala, Kara Chan, Ben Cook, Jeanette Delgado, Carlos Falú, Christine Flores, Jada German, Zachary Gonder, Rachel Lockhart, Brandt Martinez, Dario Natarelli, Tyrone Reese, Craig Salstein, Ahmad Simmons, Byron Tittle and Alejandro Vargas, as well as So You Think You Can Dance winners Gaby Diaz and Ricky Ubeda.

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty Images</p> Sufjan Stevens performs onstage at the 90th Annual Academy Awards in 2018

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Sufjan Stevens performs onstage at the 90th Annual Academy Awards in 2018

Related: Sufjan Stevens Diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome: 'Working Really Hard to Get Back on My Feet'

Illinoise moves to Broadway direct from two critically acclaimed sold-out productions at the Park Avenue Armory and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

It's unclear how involved Stevens is in the production. In September 2023, the Detroit native. 48. revealed he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system, causing muscle weakness and temporary paralysis.

Stevens shared at the time that the condition left him hospitalized and unable to walk. He was unable to attend any events promoting his album Javelin, which released in October.

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Why people develop Guillain-Barré isn't yet known, but most cases occur after a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection, according to the National Institutes of Health. The severity of Guillain-Barré — which affects about one in 100,000 people a year — can vary from person to person, either causing a mild weakness in the body or a “devastating” paralysis.

"It’s a slow process, but they say I will ‘recover,’ it just takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work," Stevens said, adding that he's "hopeful" that he'll learn to walk again on his own within a year. "I am working really hard to get back on my feet. I’m committed to getting better, I’m in good spirits, and I’m surrounded by a really great team. I want to be well! "

Tickets for Illinoise are on sale now.

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