Wayne Kirkpatrick and Don Chaffer Penning New Musical About Nashville's Bluebird Cafe | Playbill

Industry News Wayne Kirkpatrick and Don Chaffer Penning New Musical About Nashville's Bluebird Cafe

Steve Buchanan is producing Bluebird, which celebrates the Nashville songwriting scene.

Wayne Kirkpatrick and Don Chaffer

Tony nominee Wayne Kirkpatrick (Something Rotten!Mrs. Doubtfire) and Don Chaffer are co-writing the book, music, and lyrics for Bluebird, a new musical that celebrates Nashville's songwriting scene and the famed Bluebird Cafe.

For over four decades, the 86-seat, in-the-round Nashville venue, often referred to as “the Mother Church of Songwriting,” has been a launching pad for artists such as Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and Taylor Swift.

“To have the opportunity to tell the Nashville songwriter’s story within a theatrical setting is, for me, the best of both worlds. 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,” says Kirkpatrick. “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. The Bluebird is our Ryman Auditorium, our Carnegie Hall. If you know, you know. I can’t wait to share it with those who don’t.”

Steve Buchanan, who is producing, adds, “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. 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.”

In addition to his Broadway work, Kirkpatrick has penned over 200 songs, including the Grammy-winning “Change the World,” recorded by Babyface and Eric Clapton. He has also enjoyed chart success with songs recorded by Little Big Town, Bonnie Raitt, Garth Brooks, and Amy Grant. 

A recipient of the Georgia Bogardus Holof Lyricist Award at the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference for his first musical, Chaffer has since written 12 other shows. He has received two ASCAP Awards and wrote the R&R Song of the Year, “You Are So Good to Me.” He has written with, recorded, and/or produced a broad range of artists, including Indigo Girls, Third Day, and Matthew Perryman Jones.

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