Sufjan Stevens’ 2005 concept album “Illinois” is being turned into a musical, with its first release confirmed for this year.
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The new show will premiere this summer as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations at Bard College’s Fisher Center in New York City.
A production synopsis, which includes music and lyrics written by Stevens and a script written by Justin Peck and Jackie Sibblies Drury, reads: “With new arrangements of the entire album for one live band and three vocals – ranging from DIY folk and indie rock to marching band and ambient electronics – Illinois will take us on a powerful journey through the heartland of America, from campfire storytelling to the far reaches of the cosmos.
“Tony Prize-winning Justin Peck transforms the album into a full theatrical performance with a cast of virtuoso dancers, singers and musicians in a narrative crafted with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury.”
The show will be coming to Bard from June 23 to July 2 and you can buy tickets here.
A few years ago, Sufjan Stevens called on each band to part ways after ten years together during his 2021 year-end roundup.
Writing on Tumblr, Stevens listed his favorite and least favorite albums of 2021 — though most of the entries aren’t actual albums, and the majority of those that are haven’t been released this year.
Topping Stevens’ list of the worst albums of 2021 was Netflix’s hit show squid game. “I haven’t actually seen it but it looks really stupid,” he wrote before giving it an F- score.
Also on Steven’s list of his least favorite albums was The Matrix 4 (“Ugh. Computers. Hackers. Cyberpunks. Simulated reality. The 90s. The color green”), Dunes (“A really long Zara ad”) and everything Marvel has released, with Stevens explaining that “if it’s on Disney+, it’s for kids.”
When it comes to music, Stevens isn’t a fan of ’90s revival (“Please. It was bad enough the first time”), musicals (“Please stop sing and dance”) or Adele’s latest album “30”. “Girl, please. We know you are 33 years old. It’s on your Wikipedia page,” he wrote.
It’s also set to feature on The National’s new album “First Two Pages Of Frankenstein,” alongside other collaborations with Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers.