Springsteen on Broadway

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After fortifying ourselves with pasta and red wine at Le Masseria next door, we threaded our way through the expectant crowd to our seats blessedly close enough to the stage to enjoy the proceedings. There was unalloyed enthusiasm in the air and when The Man appeared, a thunder of applause and shouts of approval including an “OOOOO” sound that for a moment sounded like booing. But HEY, we knew better; this was obviously a cult thing.

Bruce drank it all in and then proceeded. The evening was nothing that I had expected… there were few real “songs”, but lots of folklore, history, musings, and recollections on Springsteen’s part. He sang two songs with his wife whose tender and sweet voice was pretty much drowned out by his commanding one. But they made a simpatico couple… her long red/blonde hair and smile and his rough and ready T-shirt style.

Certainly Bruce made his decisions early on and never looked back. He reminisced about family, jobs, travel and sometimes intimated that the road was pretty darned hard but he was never fazed. He has a positive mien and has definitely made a huge success both artistically and financially. His daughter Jessica, for example, is a fine equestrian and won the Puissance jump at Washington’s International Horse Show at 6 feet 8 inches. Nobody makes money in horses.

In sum, Donald was applauding with gusto during the evening and Springsteen brought a certain dignity to his narrative, ending it with a recitation of The Lord’s Prayer so elegantly phrased that it seemed to take on a truly philosophical meaning.

Barbara Tober

 

Previous Post by Howard L. Morgan

Don’t expect a rousing rock and roll evening if you’re able to spring for the outrageous prices that “Springsteen on Broadway” is charging (or Stubhub). But do expect an amazing evening of theater, a one man show (except for a short interlude with his wife Patti Scialfa) much more like Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays. Yes, he does 15 songs, some on piano and some on guitar, but there is no E Street Band to accompany. Most of it is a reflection on his life, from the early Jersey days on. And it’s a mesmerizing tale, with lots of introspection along the way. The two hour and ten minute, no intermission performane held everyone in their seats waiting with baited breath for the next revelation, or song (He does 15). When he started Dancing in the Dark and the audience began to join in, he stopped and said “I can handle this one” – and handle it he did, with a slower, more deeply felt version than the one we know. It’s not something for everyone, but it works as theater, and as music. Jesse Green’s NY Times review pretty much nails it with “as portraits of artists go, there may never have been anything as real — and beautiful — on Broadway”

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