Illinoise Announces Vocalists for Broadway Run

Last month it was announced that Illinoise would make its Broadway premiere this spring, with the new musical set to open at the St. James Theatre on April 24.

Transferring directly from the show’s Park Avenue Armory run earlier this spring, vocalists Elijah Lyons, Shara Nova, and Tasha Viets-VanLear have been announced to join Illinoise, the theatrical adaptation of Grammy- and Oscar-nominated Sufjan Stevens’ concept album Illinois, for its Broadway run. All three vocalists were part of the Park Avenue Armory and Chicago Shakespeare Theater productions of Illinoise and Shara Nova sang and toured with Sufjan Stevens on the original Illinois album.

The new Broadway musical will begin performances Wednesday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at the St. James Theatre, which will also act as the engagement’s opening performance. The musical will open on Broadway just in time to be eligible for this year’s Tony Awards with the eligibility cut-off date for the 2023-2024 season being Thursday, April 25, 2024.

A company of performers brings the original story to life, 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. Illinoise is a “mysterious, deeply moving and unforgettable dance-musical hybrid that explores the hot zone between childhood and adulthood when emotions can be at their most overwhelming. The vocalists do not seem to sing so much as pour emotion into our ears. (New York Times).”

The cast of Illinoise includes Yesenia Ayala (West Side Story film, on Broadway in West Side Story), Kara Chan (Twyla Tharp Dance, Pam Tanowitz Dance), Ben Cook (West Side Story film, on Broadway in West Side Story), Gaby Diaz (Winner of So You Think You Can Dance?; MaestroWest Side Story film, and tick, tick… BOOM!), Jeanette Delgado (Miami City Ballet, West Side Story film), Carlos Falu (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), 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), and Alejandro Vargas (Juilliard School).

Learn More About Illinoise