Springsteen on Broadway

Theater, Musicals
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars
Springsteen on Broadway
Photograph: Courtesy Rob DeMartin

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that events are still happening.

Theater review by Adam Feldman 

“I'm no hero, that’s understood,” sings Bruce Springsteen in “Thunder Road,” self-effacingly but also with the knowledge that a cardinal rule of heroism is denying it. He's got the dirty hood, sure, but it’s a hoodwink of a kind, and in the extraordinary concert show Springsteen on Broadway he is candid about that: Rock stardom, he says, is partly “a magic trick.” He's the young man without a driver’s license writing songs about the road; the artist costumed in the “factory clothes” of his emotionally withholding father; the working man who is also always the Boss.

For more than four decades, Springsteen has maintained a sturdy performance of authenticity. He writes unforgettable character songs and sings them, essentially, as an actor; between them, he recites eloquently plain-spoken monologues—full of lists that touch on joy and sex and pain—that he writes for the character of Bruce. So Springsteen on Broadway is less of a contradiction in terms than it may seem. Dressed in simple black with no band (though his wife, Patti Scialfa, joins him for two duets), he performs what amounts to a two-hour solo musical about himself, a rock-star cabaret act. The hits are here, including “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark,” but stripped down and edged with wistfulness; “Born in the U.S.A.” is pared into a skeletal, nearly a cappella blues. It’s an intimate show and a generous one, not just to past friends and collaborators but also to the audience, inviting us on a cross-country journey that is now, as he approaches 70, less about the gunning of his engines than the steadiness of his drive. He pulls it all off; he’s understood. It’s magic.

Walter Kerr Theatre (Broadway). Written and directed by Bruce Springsteen. Running time: 2hrs 5mins. No intermission. Through Feb 3.

Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam
Follow Time Out Theater on Twitter: @TimeOutTheater
Keep up with the latest news and reviews on our Time Out Theater Facebook page

Details

You may also like
    Latest news