Springsteen on Broadway
|Residency by Bruce Springsteen|
|Location||New York City, U.S.|
|Venue||Walter Kerr Theatre|
|Start date||October 3, 2017 (preview performances) October 12, 2017 (official opening)|
|End date||December 15, 2018|
|No. of shows||236|
|Bruce Springsteen concert chronology|
Springsteen on Broadway was a concert residency by Bruce Springsteen held at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City. The residency consisted of Springsteen performing five shows a week, Tuesday through Saturday. Preview performances began on October 3, 2017 followed by the official opening on October 12, 2017. The run was originally expected to conclude on November 26, 2017; however, due to high demand for tickets and issues with scalpers, additional dates were added through June 30, 2018. The show was extended a second time on March 20, 2018, extending the run through December 15, 2018.
The shows featured Springsteen, solo, playing guitar and piano, performing his music, restating incidents from his 2016 autobiography, Born to Run, and performing other spoken reminiscences written for the show. Springsteen's wife, Patti Scialfa, also appeared at most shows. The residency grossed over $113 million from a total of 236 shows.
On June 16, 2017 information leaked that Springsteen would be performing an eight-week run on Broadway in New York City at the 960-seat Walter Kerr Theatre in the fall of 2017. On August 9, 2017, the performances were made official by Springsteen's website. "Bruce has had this specific idea in mind since last December. It came into focus slowly and then all at once last January," Springsteen's manager Jon Landau said in a statement.
Springsteen said of the performances "I wanted to do some shows that were as personal and as intimate as possible. I chose Broadway for this project because it has the beautiful old theaters which seemed like the right setting for what I have in mind. In fact, with one or two exceptions, the 960 seats of the Walter Kerr Theatre is probably the smallest venue I’ve played in the last 40 years. 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. It loosely follows the arc of my life and my work. All of it together is in pursuit of my constant goal to provide an entertaining evening and to communicate something of value."
The creative team for Springsteen on Broadway includes Heather Wolensky (scenic design), Natasha Katz (lighting design) and Brian Ronan (sound design).
In response to major issues with scalping and resales as seen on previous Springsteen tours, tickets were made available exclusively through Ticketmaster Verified Fan, a system put into place by Ticketmaster in February 2017. Ticket prices range from $75-$850. Despite Ticketmaster's efforts to eliminate bots and resellers, tickets immediately appeared on resale sites such as Stubhub minutes after they went on sale. Several hundred tickets were available on StubHub with prices ranging from $1,800 to $6,700. Due to scalper issues and the original run of dates selling out in minutes, Springsteen announced the residency would continue until February 3, 2018 with tickets for the newly announced dates going on sale September 7, 2017. A second extension to June 30, 2018, was later announced, with no new registrations being taken. Instead, people who had previously registered but were unable to get tickets would be contacted to give them the opportunity to purchase seats.
Songs are interspersed with spoken word passages. The program below reflects the most common set of songs performed during the residency; see notes below for changes to the program made over the span of the residency.
- "Growin' Up" (from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.)
- "My Hometown" (from Born in the U.S.A.)
- "My Father's House" (from Nebraska)
- "The Wish" (from Tracks)
- "Thunder Road" (from Born to Run)
- "The Promised Land" (from Darkness on the Edge of Town)
- "Born in the U.S.A." (from Born in the U.S.A.)
- "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" (from Born to Run)
- "Tougher Than the Rest" (w/ Patti Scialfa) (from Tunnel of Love)
- "Brilliant Disguise" (w/ Patti Scialfa) (from Tunnel of Love)
- "Long Walk Home" (from Magic)
- "The Rising" (from The Rising)
- "Dancing in the Dark" (from Born in the U.S.A.)
- "Land of Hope and Dreams" (from Wrecking Ball)
- "Born to Run" (from Born to Run)
Changes to program
- "The Ghost of Tom Joad" was performed during previews, placed before "Long Walk Home," in place of "The Rising."
- "The Rising" was added to the show permanently starting with the show of October 5, 2017, swapping places with "Long Walk Home" several times before settling into the above order.
- "Long Time Comin'", from Devils & Dust, has been paired with "The Ghost of Tom Joad" for instances in which Patti Scialfa is unable to perform in the show, replacing "Tougher than the Rest" and "Brilliant Disguise," respectively; the first instance of this was on December 26, 2017, due to Scialfa catching the flu, and has occurred sporadically thereafter.
- On June 19, 2018, Springsteen deviated from the show's script after "Brilliant Disguise" to condemn the Trump administration family separation policy, and performed "The Ghost of Tom Joad" in place of "Long Walk Home," retaining this change for every show thereafter.
- On July 10, 2018, Springsteen performed an encore consisting of "This Hard Land" from his greatest hits album to make up for a shortened show that did not feature Scialfa, where only "Long Time Comin'" was performed in place of "Tougher Than the Rest" and "Brilliant Disguise," as "The Ghost of Tom Joad" was already in the set. Springsteen allowed fans to take photos and film the encore performance.
Netflix special and soundtrack album
Springsteen on Broadway premiered on Netflix in the early morning of December 16, 2018, just hours after the final Broadway performance closed. Filming for the concert special took place July 17 & 18, 2018, with a private audience in attendance. A soundtrack album was released on December 14, 2018, to widespread acclaim from critics, including Robert Christgau, who said "the Springsteen [work] this most recalls isn't like any earlier album but the 2016 autobiography he called Born to Run for better reasons than you might imagine. Like that fast-reading 508-pager, its aim is to simultaneously depict and demythologize the Jersey shore and poke major holes in an authenticity it reconceives at a truer level of complexity".
The New York Times said "as portraits of artists go, there may never have been anything as real – and beautiful – on Broadway". Rolling Stone noted "it is one of the most compelling and profound shows by a rock musician in recent memory". The Guardian observed "there's a fragility and a new light cast on the songs and his relationship with Scialfa, as if he stands in her emotional shadow". Variety reported the show "is as much a self-made monument to its master's vision and hurricane-force ambition as it is to his life and career, and it bears the mark of a self-made man who’ll write his own history".
On June 10, 2018, Springsteen received a special Tony Award for Springsteen on Broadway.
- Bruce Springsteen - lead vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
- Patti Scialfa - backing vocals (on "Brilliant Disguise" and "Tougher Than the Rest")
- "Historical Grosses for Springsteen on Broadway". Broadway World. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- Records, Columbia. "Springsteen on Broadway". Springsteen on Broadway. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017.
- Ticketmaster (August 30, 2017). "#SpringsteenBroadway has been EXTENDED! More information coming today. There will NOT be any additional codes released for today's onsale.pic.twitter.com/xGY3rj3Yrl". twitter.com.
- "Springsteen on Broadway – extended through February!". brucespringsteen.net.
- Hetrick, Adam (November 27, 2017). "Springsteen on Broadway extends through June". Playbill. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- Reed, Ryan (March 21, 2018). "Bruce Springsteen Extends Broadway Run Through December 2018". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Sisario, Ben (August 9, 2017). "Bruce Springsteen Is Bringing His Music and His Memories to Broadway". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "Bruce Springsteen rehearses Broadway show at Monmouth University". app.com.
- "OnsaleRegistration". springsteen.tmverifiedfan.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017.
- "'Springsteen on Broadway': Tickets appear on Stubhub for over $6,000". www.msn.com.
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- "Bruce Springsteen: Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway, New York, 26/12/2017". maximumvolumemusic.com.
- "Bruce Springsteen Condemns Trump's Inhumane Border Policy During Broadway Show". variety.com.
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- "Bruce Springsteen's Broadway Show is Becoming a Netflix Special". nytimes.com.
- "Springsteen on Broadway". Metacritic. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- Christgau, Robert (May 3, 2019). "Robert Christgau Reviews 'Springsteen on Broadway'". Vice. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- Green, Jesse (October 12, 2017). "Review: 'Springsteen on Broadway' Reveals the Artist, Real and Intense". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Greene, Andy (October 13, 2017). "Review: Bruce Springsteen's Broadway Show Is an Intimate Triumph". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Barton, Laura (October 13, 2017). "Springsteen on Broadway review – joy and glory as the Boss unveils his flaws". the Guardian. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Aswad, Jem (October 12, 2017). "Theater Review: 'Springsteen on Broadway' Is an Intimate, Living Autobiography". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2018.