by Zach Raffio. @zachraffio.
BERNARD B. JACOBS THEATRE, NY - Pop megastar Taylor Swift followed up her surprise appearance at the historic Stonewall In this weekend with an unannounced appearance during Sunday’s matinee of Jez Butterworth’s Tony-winning play The Ferryman, sources have confirmed.
“It was pretty shocking,” noted audience member Tyler Caine. “We were about halfway through the first act, during a fiery, passionate monologue by Brian d’Arcy James, and then slowly in the background we see Taylor Swift in a modern, sparkly silver dress walks out with a guitar and slyly say ‘you need to calm down’, which I know is a reference to her new song. Then she stood there smiling for… for a while.”
Cast members of the play, set in 1981 Northern Ireland on the eve of the town’s annual harvest, communicated their own confusion with the Grammy winner’s cameo.
“Nobody told us it was happening,” says actress Emily Bergl, who plays Mary Carney in the production. “She kept showing up too. One minute we would be deep in a quiet, reflective scene, and then she’d run in, sing a few bars of ‘Shake It Off’, crack open a can of Diet Coke, and then be on her way. I don’t understand.”
The Broadway Beat caught up with Swift herself, who had an odd justification for the shoehorned performance.
“It’s Pride Month, so I figured I’d try to connect with the LGBT community,” she said while practicing her pronunciation of “queen” in the mirror. “I know Broadway is huge, so took the first show that agreed. I kept waiting for some shiny costumes or big dance numbers but they never came. There was a really long pause at one point during the show, so I made sure to take advantage with a little freestyle rap.”
When asked why producers of The Ferryman agreed to the cameo, Cindy Watts, a representative from Sonia Friedman Productions, noted that “winning the Tony doesn’t exactly fill seats. We thought if Taylor made a surprise appearance, people may show up wondering who’s in next. We have Tiki Barber coming in to play the baby next week.”
When asked where she would appear next, Swift was coy to respond, but did point out that there was an upcoming staged reading of Angels in America at NYU that she would love to perform her upcoming single “Party Jeans” at, if invited.