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Soundtracks 23/05/2024

Nonesuch To Release Broadway's 'Illinoise: A New Musical (Original Cast Recording)' Digitally May 31, 2024

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Nonesuch To Release Broadway's 'Illinoise: A New Musical (Original Cast Recording)' Digitally May 31, 2024
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) A recording of the current Tony-nominated Broadway show Illinoise: A New Musical will be released digitally on Nonesuch Records on May 31, 2024. A sneak peek of two album tracks—"Chicago (Reprise)" and "The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us!"—is available below. The new work features music and lyrics by Sufjan Stevens based on his album Illinois, a book by Tony Award-winning director-choreographer Justin Peck (Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, Carousel) and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview, Marys Seacole), and direction and choreography by Peck. Details of the CD and LP release date will be announced shortly.

The New York Times exclaims: "The vocalists do not seem to sing so much as pour emotion into our ears." Variety says: "A thrilling, genre-defying Broadway musical brings the Sufjan Stevens album to lyrical life." The Washington Post adds: "The landmark Sufjan Stevens album springs to epic life onstage. A testament to the delicateness and danger of Stevens's work."

Illinoise moved to Broadway in April of this year, direct from two critically acclaimed sold-out productions at the Park Avenue Armory and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Stevens' beloved classic "springs to epic life on stage," according to the Washington Post, with live music and vocals, choreography, and narratives centering on self-exploration and community set to the entirety of Stevens' album. Its songs—with new arrangements by composer, pianist, and frequent Stevens collaborator Timo Andres, a Nonesuch artist, and Music Supervision and Direction by Nathan Koci—range in style from DIY folk and indie rock to marching band and ambient electronics, performed by a live band and vocalists.

The album's band includes Elijah Lyons, Shara Nova, Tasha Viets-VanLear, Christina Courtin, Sean Peter Forte, Domenica Fossati, Daniel Freedman, Kathy Halvorson, Nathan Koci, Eleonore Oppenheim, Brett Parnell, Brandon Ridenour, Kyra Sims, and Jessica Tsang.

With inclusion on several reviewer's "best of the decade" lists including those of Paste, NPR, and Rolling Stone, Sufjan Stevens' acclaimed 2005 concept album Illinois enjoys cult status for its lush orchestrations and wildly inventive portrayal of the state's people, landscapes, and history, complete with UFOs, zombies, and predatory wasps. This musically ambitious work, which weaves together cinematic orchestral anthems, jazz riffs, and other musical influences, leads audiences on a mighty journey through the American heartland, from campfire storytelling to the edges of the cosmos.

In addition to Stevens, Peck, Drury, and Andres, the creative team includes Music Director and Supervisor Nathan Koci, Scenic Designer Adam Rigg, Lighting Designer Brandon Stirling Baker, Costume Designers Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, Sound Designer Garth MacAleavey, Mask Designer Julian Crouch, Associate Director and Choreographer Adriana Pierce, Associate Music Director Sean Peter Forte, Production Stage Manager Christopher R. Munnell., Company Manager Tyler Siems, Production Management by Aurora Productions and Brian Freeland, General Manager and Executive Producer TT Partners.

The Broadway cast of Illinoise includes Yesenia Ayala (film West Side Story, on Broadway in West Side Story), Kara Chan (Twyla Tharp Dance, Pam Tanowitz Dance), Ben Cook (film West Side Story, on Broadway in West Side Story), Gaby Diaz (winner of So You Think You Can Dance, films Maestro, West Side Story, and Tick, Tick… BOOM!), Jeanette Delgado (Miami City Ballet, West Side Story film), Carlos Falú (West Side Story film), Christine Flores (Dance Heginbotham, Pam Tanowitz Dance), Jada German (Twyla Tharp Dance, Metropolitan Opera), Zachary Gonder (Carmen at Lyric Opera, Pam Tanowitz Dance), Rachel Lockhart (Juilliard's Choreographic Honors program, Jacob's Pillow), Brandt Martinez (Aladdin), Dario Natarelli (New York City Center Encores!, Maestro film), Tyrone Reese (Juilliard School), Craig Salstein (American Ballet Theatre, associate choreographer for West Side Story and Maestro films, Carousel on Broadway), Ahmad Simmons (Fosse/Verdon on FX, Hadestown), Byron Tittle (Dorrance Dance, In the Heights film), Ricky Ubeda (winner of So You Think You Can Dance Season 11, FX's Fosse/Verdon), Alejandro Vargas (Juilliard School) and Manny Houston, Tanner Porter, and Becca Stevens.

The album is produced by Dean Sharenow, Timo Andres, Nathan Koci, Garth MacAleavey, and executive produced by Orin Wolf and Nate Koch. It was edited, mixed, and mastered by Dean Sharenow at Steel Cut Audio and Garth MacAleavey served as recording engineer.

Illinoise is produced by Orin Wolf, Seaview, John Styles, and David Binder and executive produced by Nate Koch and TT Partners. It is co-produced by Emily Blavatnik, Susan Rose, ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann, David F. Schwartz, Patrick Catullo, Jon B. Platt, Diamond & Melvin, Nelson & Tao, Ruth Hendel, Elysabeth Kleinhans, Ted & Mary Jo Shen, Putnam & Thau, Chase & F.K.R., GJJJM Productions, Steve & Leticia Trauber, Tim Forbes, John Gore Organization, James L. Nederlander, Park Avenue Armory, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the Fisher Center at Bard.

Illinoise was originally developed, produced and premiered at the Fisher Center at Bard. Illinoise is a co-commission of the Fisher Center at Bard, Park Avenue Armory, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Southbank Centre, TO Live, and the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC).

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