Reviews: What Do the Critics Think of Sufjan Stevens Dance Musical Illinoise on Broadway? | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Do the Critics Think of Sufjan Stevens Dance Musical Illinoise on Broadway?

Directed and choreographed by Justin Peck, the show previously played an Off-Broadway premiere at Park Avenue Armory.

Ricky Ubeda and company of Illinoise Matthew Murphy

The Sufjan Stevens dance musical Illinoise began performances and opened on Broadway April 24, and the reviews are now rolling in. The dance musical, which plays Broadway's St. James Theatre, opened with no preview period, shifting the review release date to April 26. The strictly limited engagement will continue through August 10.

The work is inspired by Stevens' album Illinois and features direction and choreography by Justin Peck (Carousel, West Side Story). The musical's story is by Peck and Pulitzer winner Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview). The production is set around a campfire as dancers, singers, and a live band lead audiences on an epic journey set to Stevens' music, arranged by Timo Andres.

Read the reviews below.

Chicago Tribute (Chris Jones)

Deadline (Greg Evans)

Digital Journal (Markos Papadatos)

The Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney)

L.A. Times (Charles McNulty)

New York Post (Johnny Oleksinski)

New York Stage Review (Roma Torre, David Finkle)

TheaterMania (David Gordon)

Theatrely (Joey Sims)

Variety (Christian Lewis)

The Wrap (Robert Hofler)

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

The dance ensemble for the Broadway bow features much of the performers from the show's earlier runs Off-Broadway and at Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Yard. The company includes Yesenia Ayala (West Side Story), Kara Chan (Twyla Tharp Dance), Ben Cook (West Side Story), Gaby Diaz (So You Think You Can Dance?), Jeanette Delgado (West Side Story), Carlos Falu (West Side Story), Christine Flores (Dance Heginbotham), Jada German (Twyla Tharp Dance), Zach Gonder (Pam Tanowitz Dance), Rachel Lockhart (Jacob's Pillow), Brandt Martinez (Aladdin), Dario Natarelli (Maestro), Tyrone Reese, Craig Salstein (West Side Story), Ahmad Simmons (Fosse/Verdon), Byron Tittle (Dorrance Dance), Ricky Ubeda (So You Think You Can Dance?), and Alejandro Vargas. They are joined by Elijah Lyons, Shara Nova, Tasha Viets-VanLear, Manny Houston, and Tanner Porter.

The work was co-commissioned by Fisher Center at Bard (where the piece made its world premiere in 2023), Park Avenue Armory, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Southbank Centre, TO Live, and Perelman Performing Arts Center. The show's Chicago run finished February 18.

The creative team includes music director and supervisor Nathan Koci, music arranger and orchestrator Andres, scenic designer Adam Rigg, lighting designer Brandon Stirling Baker, sound designer Garth MacAleavey, costume designers Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, prop designer Andrew Diaz, and mask designer Julian Crouch. Thomas Gates is production stage manager.

Orin Wolf, John Styles, and David Binder are producing, in association with Seaview and Executive Producer Nate Koch.


Photos: Illinoise on Broadway

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