Theater News

Cast and More Details Announced for Illinoise at Park Avenue Armory

The cast includes Gaby Diaz, Ben Cook, Robbie Fairchild, Ahmad Simmons, and Ricky Ubeda.

Ricky Ubeda
Ricky Ubeda
(© David Gordon)

Park Avenue Armory announced additional details for the New York City premiere of Illinoise, the theatrical adaption of Grammy- and Oscar-nominated Sufjan Stevens’ concept album Illinois, which will run from March 2-23 in the Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The show features an original story by Tony Award-winning director-choreographer Justin Peck (Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Carousel), who also directs and choreographs this production, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview, Marys Seacole).

The story is set to the entirety of Stevens’ album with new arrangements by composer, pianist, and frequent Stevens collaborator Timo Andres, ranging in style from DIY folk and indie rock to marching band and ambient electronics, performed live by an 11-member band and three vocalists. Instead of a traditional proscenium, llinoise will be performed in Drill Hall, with audiences gathered in a clearing around the work’s campfire setting with enveloping scenic elements.

The cast features Gaby Diaz (winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 12, Maestro, West Side Story, tick, tick… BOOM!), Ben Cook (West Side Story film and Broadway), Robbie Fairchild (former New York City Ballet principal dancer, An American in Paris), Ahmad Simmons (Fosse/Verdon, Hadestown, Carousel), and Ricky Ubeda (winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 11, Fosse/Verdon, On The Town, Cats).

The cast of Illinoise also includes Kara Chan, Jeanette Delgado, Christine Flores, Jada German, Zachary Gonder, Rachel Lockhart, Dario Natarelli, Tyrone Reese, Craig Salstein, Byron Tittle, and Alejandro Vargas. The band includes vocalists Elijah Lyons, Shara Nova (featured on the original Illinois album), and Tasha Viets-VanLear, and instrumentalists Christina Courtin, Sean Peter Forte, Domenica Fossati, Daniel Freedman, Kathy Halvorson, Nathan Koci, Eleonore Oppenheim, Brett Parnell, Brandon Ridenour, Kyra Sims, and Jessica Tsang.

The creative team also includes music director and supervisor Nathan Koci, scenic designer Adam Rigg, lighting designer Brandon Stirling Baker, sound designer Garth MacAleavey, costume designers Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, props designer Andrew Diaz, and masks designer Julian Crouch.

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Closed: March 23, 2024