Bluebird Cafe Stage Musical In The Works Inspired By Famed Nashville Venue That Provided Launching Pad For Taylor Swift & Garth Brooks
EXCLUSIVE: Nashville’s famed Bluebird Cafe, the renowned songwriter-friendly venue that gave an early musical home to Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and many other country and pop stars, is getting the stage musical treatment. Bluebird, a new musical inspired by the cafe, is in the works from Something Rotten! co-creator Wayne Kirkpatrick and songwriter-producer Don Chaffer.
“The Bluebird is our Ryman Auditorium, our Carnegie Hall,” said Kirkpatrick. “If you know, you know. I can’t wait to share it with those who don’t.”
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Sometimes called to “the Mother Church of Songwriting,” The Bluebird Cafe has, for the past 41 years, been a launching pad for countless songwriters and artists. Swift, for example, played the Nashville venue in 2004 when she was just 14. It was at the Bluebird, reportedly, that she was discovered by future Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta.
With its “in the round” design and intimate 86-seat capacity, The Bluebird often features three or four songwriter-musicians onstage taking turns performing their music. The venue was featured in an episode of The Foo Fighters’ TV series Sonic Highways (band leader Dave Grohl played a surprise show there in 2014) and in the ABC series Nashville. A 2018 documentary titled Bluebird featured Swift, Brooks, Hill, Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, Trisha Yearwood and others.
“To have the opportunity to tell the Nashville songwriter’s story within a theatrical setting is, for me, the best of both worlds,” said Kirkpatrick in a statement. “Don and I have created a parallel world to the real world that we know and love. This is truly a passion project for us. We have lived the songwriter’s life for over 30 years. It is our community and lifeblood, and we feel honored and fortunate to be a part of it.”
While the exact plot details of the developing musical weren’t disclosed, Bluebird Cafe general manager Erika Wollam Nichols said, “I believe theater is the ideal vehicle to tell a vibrant and honest story about the creative community that the Bluebird inspires and nurtures. It’s incredibly exciting to watch this musical take shape.”
Today’s announcement was made by producer Steve Buchanan and reps for the Cafe. “Wayne and Don are the perfect storytellers for this project as their lives have intertwined with characters of all ages and all walks of life that are on this journey,” Buchanan said. “They know what it means to follow your dreams. The songs they have written for the musical are perfect for the stage and the story they tell feels timeless.”
Additional details – a production timeline, casting and additional creative team – will be disclosed at a later date.
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