Broadway is beginning to reopen its doors starting with the revival of “Springsteen on Broadway”, a one-man show starring Bruce Springsteen at St. James Theatre. The unusual Broadway performance does not have choreographed numbers, extravagant sets, a large cast, or an orchestra in the pit. Rather, Springsteen explained, “My vision of these shows is to make them as personal and intimate as possible.” He continued, “My show is just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music. Some of the show is spoken, some of it is sung, all of it together is in pursuit of my constant goal—to communicate something of value.” In of itself, the performance has become more powerful then it has in the past based on the world’s climate and often leaves both Springsteen and the audience in tears. “I am here tonight to provide proof of life.” Springsteen said in his opening monologue, a line from his previous run that has become even more meaningful today.
The show first ran several years ago, from October 3rd, 2017 to December 15, 2018, and as such, Springsteen modified his performance, adding in some new material and taking out others. Jon Landau, a former music critic and Springsteen’s manager and co-producer, explained, “Three major public events have occurred since Bruce last performed: One, the pandemic; two, the rise of Black Lives Matter; and three, the threat to democracy as embodied by the [Capitol] insurrection of January 6.” For instance, the show’s original finale, “Born to Run,” was replaced with “I’ll See You In My Dreams”, a more somber yet hopeful ending that conveys the message that as long as you remember those you have lost, they are never truly gone. It is an emotionally resonant message for many after losing so many people due to the pandemic. Landau added, “I think that “Dreams” is a song about death, and yet it is about life and even a notion of an afterlife and winds up being deeply inspirational. It confronts and it inspires.” In addition, Springsteen switched from performing the piece “The Ghost of Tom Joad” to “American Skin (41 shots),” a protest song written after a Guinean immigrant, Amadou Diallo, was killed by the NYPD in 1999, which also resonates particularly well in today’s environment.
“Springsteen on Broadway” is a highly personal performance and affects much of the audience as well as Springsteen himself. He said, “I loved doing Springsteen on Broadway and I’m thrilled to have been asked to reprise the show as part of the reopening of Broadway,”
The performance is currently running, beginning on June 26th, 2021, and will run until September 4th, 2021. Ticket prices for Springsteen on Broadway are selling on SeatGeek for $75 to $850, the same price range of his previous run back in 2017-2018.