New York, New York - The magic of Broadway has mingled with the phenomenon that is Taylor Swift thanks to Broadway Sings, a concert series that puts a new spin on beloved pop hits. TAG24 got in on the action, and chatted exclusively with the team that made it happen.
Broadway Sings Taylor Swift has taken over the Cutting Room in New York City, with some of the most talented singers in today's Broadway shows putting their own spin on hits like All Too Well, Style, You Belong With Me, illicit affairs, and more.
Co-creator, producer, and director Corey Mach – who is currently on Broadway in Merrily We Roll Along – told TAG24 that the concert series first began with a show centered around Adele's music back in 2011.
"There were less singers, and we didn't take as many liberties as we do now with really changing up the arrangements," Mach said.
After that show sold out, they expanded the concert series with more popular artists and bigger venues, gradually growing the show into what it is today.
"It's been a blast, and I think that the fact that we're able to do them more often now, even like sometimes two shows in a night... it's just really exciting to see," he told TAG24.
Featuring a 14-piece orchestra, Broadway Sings provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the full power of Broadway caliber talent in an intimate venue. The decision to significantly rearrange the well-known hits using the orchestra is essential, with Mach identifying it as a key feature that allows the show to excel without the pressure of comparison to the originals.
"I think we try to go the opposite direction so we don't have that onus placed upon us," he said. "We change the arrangements so that we can kind of stake our claim and to say, 'Hey, we are not Taylor Swift, we're not Queen. We're gonna change this up and do our version of it.' And if you like it, then great!"
Broadway Sings Taylor Swift is just one of their many reimaginings of iconic artists (others include Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston), and it's safe to say the series of enthralling covers has been a sure-fire hit with fans.
The first Broadway Sings Taylor Swift event took place last year.
Mach revealed the process of tackling a new artist is a tall order, since it can be a challenge for arranger, co-creator, and orchestrator Joshua Stephen Kartes to write original music arrangements for a 14-piece band. As a result, the series only adds a new variation to their repertoire of shows about once a year.
Though Swift was already making waves in 2022 with Midnights, her stardom has undeniably reached new heights thanks to The Eras Tour. Mach found that rearranging her music gave him and the show's cast a newfound appreciation of T-Swift, saying, "I started listening to her music in preparations to pick songs, and I kind of just fell in love with her songwriting."
The producer explained that when matching a singer to the right Taylor song, a performer's strengths are taken into consideration, letting their particular vocal style inform the song choice and its respective rearrangement.
"We either pick a song for them or they choose a song, especially if they're a big fan of the artist," Mach said. From there, they work with the performers to shape the singing styles they most excel at and then arrange the songs around that style.
"We end up at this beautiful mix between the original version and the Broadway performer, who comes in wanting to share their soul and their history and their voice."
Broadway Sings Taylor Swift will host four more performances at The Cutting Room on November 21 and 22 at 6 and 8:30 PM.2023-11-18T20:28:23Z dg43tfdfdgfd