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The Broadway Review: ‘Illinoise’ is a rapturous album tenderly brought to life

Director-choreographer Justin Peck’s unique dance-theater-concert hybrid is a commendable, imaginative rendering of Sufjan Stevens’ concept album.

Good morning, and welcome to Broadway News’ Broadway Review by Brittani Samuel — our overview of reactions, recommendations and information tied to the Broadway opening of “Illinoise.”


The company of “Illinoise” on Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Matthew Murphy)

The new Broadway production “Illinoise” draws inspiration from Sufjan Stevens’ near-eponymous 2005 concept album, “Illinois.” As that album blends genres, so here does director-choreographer and co-story author Justin Peck. “Illinoise” is a dance musical, a musical performance art piece, a theatrical indulgence. Though the work straddles two cities — Chicago and New York — and crackles with the sporty-casual aesthetic of the early aughts, Peck and his co-writer Jackie Sibblies Drury aren’t so much traversing specific settings as much as they are trying to evoke the higher-dimensional frequencies pulsing out of Stevens’ album. 

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