Bruce Springsteen is on record with his one-man show by Springsteen on Broadway.
The rock star has $2.3 m (£1.8 m) in its first week of previews, behind only Hamilton and Hello, Dolly! – it is played more shows in the same period.
Live mixing of music and narration, the show is set for a duration of 16 weeks, with The Head, taking up residence in the 960-seat Walter Kerr Theatre.
“It’s probably the smallest venue I’ve played in the last 40 years,” he said.
The exhibition will be officially inaugurated on Thursday night – but the BBC Elysa Gardner managed to catch one of the previews.
Bruce Springsteen, the first Broadway show is neither a musical nor a concert in the tradition of his previous tour.
Written and directed by the Boss, bruce Springsteen on Broadway-which arrives about a year after his autobiography, ” Born To Run – is a meticulously, deeply personal journey with the set of words and music, with the star, alternatively, in tandem with the guitar and the piano.
But the two-hour program is also in its distinctly intimate, understated fashion, an affirmation of the exuberant showmanship and lively narrative that Springsteen, rock and roll actions of musical theatre.
As a songwriter, we’re reminded, is an heir of Rodgers and Hammerstein, as every contemporary pop artist; an unabashed romantic with a probing social conscience, whose soaring songs give full-throated voice to the American dreams and the demons that haunt them.
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The songs of Springsteen On Broadway are clearly chosen less to show the treatment of a range of memorable characters (or “hit”, for that matter) that will recognize the people and events that have shaped them.
Not surprisingly, the more time and detail are dedicated to the youth of almost 45 years as one of the most famous people on the planet.
“I come from a catwalk, the city where everything is tinged with a bit of a fraud,” he announced in a preview before the official opening of the night, before taking his first number, the first classic-Growin’ Up. Two verses, as to emphasize the point, he paused to quip, “I’ve never held an honest job in my life… and still this is what I have written.”
Such self-deprecating humor, which extends to the stories of Springsteen’s wayward youth and early career, the struggle was compensated by moving operatic tribute to his father, a depressive who had sought refuge at the local bar, and his challenge positive mother.
“It has given the world a lot more credit than it deserves,” Springsteen observed, voice and piano to a suffering race and Desire.
Springsteen also played the rock and roll preacher, of course, the application of a crotchety reduced version of the shamanistic intensity that is mounted to packed stadiums in a frenzy. The script used flirty but seductive pattern, with playful references to the pleasures of the flesh, as well as the general promises of youth, captured in a hilarious reading of Thunder Road and Promised Land.
As the show progressed, however, attention has shifted to more mature concerns, and rewards. It is here that Springsteen, the ability to open her heart and overcome the sentimentality – as the most interested in the rock and musical theatre artists almost always do – came to the fore. Back at the piano for a muscular, Tenth Avenue Freezeout, it’s held back no reserves towards the end of the E-Street Band sax hero Clarence Clemons.
Joined by wife and fellow E Street member Patti Scialfa for two songs, he chose to wrap it up with a Brilliant Disguise, an account of the fragility of love, written while Springsteen was married to another woman, made even more intense by a couple who survived.
The policy did not pass entirely in silence; when you have found that people do not like the rock star of consulting services in the field of Springsteen made reference to “the mess we’re in” – embellishing the remark with a colorful adjective, but avoiding the T-word.
Nodding to an era in which its texts have been woven by another president, Springsteen introduced Born in the USA, with blistering, Eastern-flavored arrangements (the show’s most flamboyant demonstration of his guitar virtuosity), then sang the first lines of a chapel, his voice rough and tired.
But clearly not to the USA, Springsteen chose to see, or represent. One of the evening’s most exciting numbers was The Increase, an account of courage, sacrifice and, yes, the transcendence that was the title track of an album of Springsteen, released less than a year after 9/11. His hero and narrator is a firefighter to work that day, in front of the abyss, but also looking beyond it.
It is an image that, after 16 years, brought a renewed sense of urgency. Springsteen spoke of the search for “beauty and power”, in the history of america, a goal that is found constantly challenging the militarism, and urging us to continue to dance in the dark to reach the light.
The House of my Father
The Promised Land
Born In The U. S. A.
Tenth Avenue Freezeout
Tougher Than The Rest
Long Walk Home
The Increase In
Dancing In The Dark
Land of Hope and Dreams
Born To Run
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