Broadway shows and Taylor Swift's music may seem like two parallel worlds with little in common. But dive a little deeper, and you'll find an unexpected connection. If you're a Taylor Swift fan, it's likely that you're not just drawn to her music, but to the stories she tells through her songs. Swift's music is theatrical, cinematic, and filled with narrative journeys that can transport you to a different time and place – just like a Broadway show. Broadway productions are known for their grandeur, their emotional depth, the talent they showcase, and the immersive experiences they offer. As a Taylor Swift fan, you'll appreciate these similarities and find yourself drawn into the heart of each performance.
Taylor Swift, a name known worldwide, is not just a pop star, but a storytelling virtuoso. Her music, an amalgamation of country, pop and indie, has captivated millions and continues to break records. However, one of the most compelling aspects of Swift's career is her evolution. Her music spans various eras, each marked by distinct musical styles and themes that reflect her growth as an artist and individual. Throughout these eras, Taylor's artistry continues to evolve, reflecting her personal journey and the universal experiences of her fans. Each of her new albums is a testament to her ability to reinvent herself while staying true to her storytelling roots.
Here's a guide to match your favorite Taylor Swift era with a Broadway show.
“You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess, it’s a love story baby, just say ‘yes.'”
In her early albums “Taylor Swift” and “Fearless”, Taylor Swift was known for her ability to capture the essence of young love in her lyrics. Songs like "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me" encapsulated the innocence, longing, and idealism of youth. Her music painted vivid pictures of stolen kisses, and star-crossed lovers, much like the enduring love story between Allie and Noah in the new musical The Notebook.
The Notebook, much like Taylor Swift's early albums, is a tale of young, passionate love and the obstacles that come with it. The upcoming musical, based on Nicholas Sparks's beloved novel, explores a love story that is as timeless as it is intense. Much like Swift's early work, it perfectly encapsulates the exhilaration and heartbreak of first love. The earnest naivety and emotional depth in The Notebook will resonate with anyone who has ever been young and in love, making it a perfect match for fans of Taylor’s early works.
“I’m shining like fireworks over your sad empty town”
Fans of Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" era will find a new favorite in the Broadway show & Juliet. Much like Swift's third studio album, & Juliet explores themes of youth, growing up, relationships, and self-discovery.
Just like "Speak Now," & Juliet tackles the realities of growing up and the trials of young love, but it also celebrates the joy of self-discovery and empowerment. It explores these themes with a fresh, empowering perspective. The show reimagines Juliet as a young woman coming into her own, grappling with heartbreak, but ultimately finding strength in her independence. Just as Taylor found her voice and showcased her songwriting prowess in the "Speak Now" era, & Juliet gives a timeless character a new narrative, one where she gets to decide her own fate.
“I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age”
If the "Red" era of Taylor Swift's career speaks to you, then the Broadway show SIX is right up your alley. "Red" marked a significant shift in Swift's sound, introducing a more mature, edgier style that tackled complex themes of heartbreak and toxic relationships. Similarly, SIX presents a fresh, empowering take on history, bringing the stories of Henry VIII's six wives to the forefront with a modern and audacious twist.
Just as "Red" is a raw and unfiltered exploration of heartbreak, SIX is a fearless exploration of the queens' personal stories, their hardships, and their resilience. The queens, much like Swift in her "Red" era, are not afraid to express their feelings, confront their past, and take control of their narratives.
These parallels make SIX a must-see for any "Red" fan, as both the album and the show champion strong, self-assured women who refuse to be defined by their past relationships. They are about finding power in vulnerability and transforming heartbreak into an anthem of resilience.
“Every day is like a battle but every night with us is like a dream”
Fans of Taylor Swift's "1989" era are in for a treat with the Broadway show Kimberly Akimbo. The "1989" era marked a significant evolution in Swift's music, with a move toward a more synth-pop style that was equal parts fun and introspective. Similarly, Kimberly Akimbo offers a unique blend of quirkiness and depth, presenting a story that's both humorous and heart-tugging.
Swift's "1989" is filled with infectious melodies and emotionally resonant lyrics, much like the memorable and touching songs in Kimberly Akimbo. Songs like "Shake It Off" and "Blank Space" from "1989" showcase Swift's ability to combine catchy pop tunes with profound themes of identity, love, and personal transformation. In a similar vein, Kimberly Akimbo deftly balances its eccentric premise with a deeply human story about growing up, embracing one's individuality, and living life to the fullest.
For fans of Taylor's "1989" era, Kimberly Akimbo offers a similarly eclectic and emotionally engaging experience, proving that being different can be a beautiful thing.
“They say I did something bad. Then why's it feel so good?”
If you're a fan of Taylor Swift's "Reputation" era, you'll love the Broadway show Sweeney Todd. The "Reputation" era was a departure from Swift's previous works, delving into darker, revenge-fueled themes, and presenting a grittier, edgier Swift. Similarly, Sweeney Todd is a dark and thrilling tale of revenge, filled with suspense and poignant moments.
Songs like "Look What You Made Me Do" and "I Did Something Bad" are filled with intensity and defiance that mirror the vengeful journey of Sweeney Todd, a barber who takes justice into his own hands after being wrongfully imprisoned. The show's darker tone, complex characters, and poignant themes resonate with the transformative narrative of the "Reputation" album.
For fans who enjoyed Swift's bold, unapologetic exploration of darker themes and narratives in "Reputation", Sweeney Todd provides a similarly riveting and emotionally intense experience.
“I like shiny things but I’d marry you with paper rings”
If the "Lover" era of Taylor Swift speaks to your heart, then Disney's Aladdin on Broadway is a must-see for you. "Lover" marked a return to Swift's romantic storytelling, featuring upbeat, love-filled ballads that beautifully encapsulate the feeling of being in love. Similarly, Aladdin brings to life a classic love story, filled with magic, adventure, and romance.
Songs like "Lover" and "Paper Rings" embody the joy, excitement, and heartfelt emotion of falling in love, similar to the love story between Aladdin and Jasmine. Both Swift's songs and the show's storyline showcase the beauty of love and the lengths one is willing to go for it.
Just as the "Lover" era is known for its visually stunning music videos and sparky visuals, Aladdin is renowned for its breathtaking set designs, colorful costumes, and visually spectacular production numbers.
The earnest, romantic storytelling coupled with the visual spectacle make Aladdin a perfect match for "Lover" era fans.
“I can go anywhere I want. Anywhere I want, just not home.”
Fans of Taylor Swift's "Folklore" and "Evermore" eras will find themselves entranced by the musical Hadestown. Swift's "Folklore" and "Evermore" marked another evolution in her sound, featuring ethereal melodies and intricate storytelling that whisk listeners away into a world of their own. Similarly, Hadestown weaves a compelling narrative through its hauntingly beautiful music, offering a theatrical experience that's as immersive as it is moving.
"Folklore" and "Evermore" are filled with stories of love, loss, and introspection, conveyed through Swift's poetic lyrics and atmospheric sound. These themes reverberate in Hadestown, a reimagining of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The musical explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the power of hope, mirroring the emotional depth and narrative richness of Swift's recent albums.
“It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero.”
Swift’s "Midnights" era brings a deeper, more mysterious sound, finding a kindred spirit in the Broadway show Wicked. Known for its magical world, complex characters, and its deep exploration of friendship, identity, and societal norms, Wicked aligns perfectly with Swift's latest album.
"Bejewelled", with its rich imagery and layered metaphors, is reminiscent of Elphaba's transformation into the 'Wicked' Witch. As Elphaba comes to terms with her uniqueness and learns to embrace it, the song's lyrics echo her journey, emphasizing the beauty in being different and resisting societal norms. "Anti-Hero", on the other hand, resonates with Elphaba's defiance against the corrupted government of Oz.
In this way, Taylor Swift's music beautifully mirrors the depth, complexity, and emotion of Wicked, illustrating the power of music and storytelling in capturing the human experience. Fans of the album will also no doubt love the show’s magical visuals - what can be more bejeweled than the sparkling city of Oz?
If you're a Swiftie, exploring these Broadway shows through the lens of Swift's music can enrich your experience, allowing you to draw parallels and appreciate the depth and complexity of both mediums. From the youthful romance of "Fearless", to the introspective narratives of "Folklore" and "Evermore", every era of Swift's music finds its reflection on the Broadway stage. So, whether you're a fan of her early country hits, her pop anthems, or her indie ballads, there's a Broadway show waiting to resonate with you.