Corona Chronicles: Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway Show Reopens First Full-Capacity Show

Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway Show Reopens First Full-Capacity Show

Springsteen had ended his Springsteen on Broadway show in December 2018 after 236 performances, but he was persuaded to return for a summer’s encore ahead of most Broadway shows comeback in September.

Bruce Springsteen returned to Broadway this weekend, strapping on a guitar and reviving a show for an audience that included a member of his E Street Band and the governor of his home state.

Springsteen had ended his residency in December 2018 after 236 performances, but was persuaded to return for a summer’s encore ahead of most Broadway shows coming back in September.

The tough rock ‘n’ roller was emotional, wiping away tears at the end of his show, which mixes personal remembrances with his songs. He said the summer reprise allows him to spend more time, figuratively speaking, with his late father and other fallen relatives.

Every week brings fresh evidence of life resuming in entertainment after 15-month COVID-19 pause. Festivals and concert tours are being booked, and Springsteen plans to take his band on the road.

The Foo Fighters reopened New York’s Madison Square Garden for music with a cathartic June 20 concert.

Thrilled to be back, fans cheered Springsteen’s words so often he had to tell them to settle down, lest the show take all night.

His longtime guitarist, Steven Van Zandt, received a standing ovation when he took a seat in the audience. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg were also there Saturday night.

“It’s good to see everyone here tonight unmasked, sitting next to each other,” Springsteen said. “What a year. I’m 71 years on this planet and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Audience members had to show proof of vaccination to enter the St. James Theatre. That attracted a boisterous handful of anti-vaccination demonstrators to gather at the entrance and complain Springsteen was promoting segregation.

Springsteen said he and his family were lucky during the pandemic, able to stay healthy and keep busy. “I had a podcast with the president of the United States (Barack Obama),” he said. “I was handcuffed and thrown in jail.”

On Nov 14, 2020, he was arrested for drunken driving and reckless driving in New Jersey. Those charges were later dismissed since he had a blood alcohol level below the state’s legal limit and he paid a fine for downing two tequila shots in an area where alcohol wasn’t allowed. “New Jersey,” he said. “They love me there.”

The case provided fresh fodder for jokes, but moat of the stories of Springsteen’s show were similar to the way it was the first time he was on Broadway.

He eliminated the closer Born to Run, replacing it with the sharper I’ll See You in My Dreams, off his 2020 album. The two-song duet with his wife, Patti Scialfa, featured a smoldering version of “Fire,” a song that became a 1978 hit for the Pointer Sisters.

In clear reference to the George Floyd killing, Springsteen performed his own song about a police shooting, American Skin (41 Shots), standing onstage in a blood red spotlight.

Springsteen said he’s never seen American democracy as threatened as it is today, and that it frightened him.  “I’m still stubborn,” he said. “I believe we’re going to make it.”