Review Roundup: SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY Returns; What Has Changed Since the Original Run?

Springsteen on Broadway returns for a limited run through September 4.

By: Jun. 27, 2021
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Springsteen on Broadway Return

Last night, June 26, Springsteen on Broadway Returned, marking the re-opening of Broadway for the first time since the shutdown began in March 2020. Bruce Springsteen is returning to Broadway for a limited run of Springsteen on Broadway performances at Jujamcyn's St. James Theatre through September 4.

Check out photos and videos from opening night here!

Based on his worldwide best-selling autobiography 'Born to Run,' Springsteen on Broadway is a unique evening with Bruce, his guitar, a piano, and his very personal stories. The show's original run included 236 sold-out performances at Jujamcyn's Walter Kerr Theatre, beginning in October 2017 and concluding in December 2018. Springsteen earned a Special Tony Award for the performances, which were later adapted into a film and a soundtrack album.

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The press was in attendance to review and report on the show. Read their reports below including reviews and accounts on what changed since the show's original run.

Nick Corasaniti, The New York Times: Though the show largely hewed to the original incarnation, there were some notable additions, and new phrases, soliloquies and tales woven into the performance. Springsteen mentioned his new record, "Letter to You"; his new film of the same name; and his dismissed drunken-driving charges. But he also tried to make sense of the moment, of a long year filled with loss and isolation during the pandemic.

Christopher Bonanos, Vulture: But there were a few tweaks and alterations reflecting the moment, particularly around the beginning and end. "We're all unmasked, sitting next to each other," Springsteen said, joyfully, near the top of the show. He's been lucky, he noted: his people are healthy, with no real crises. But still, he added: "Seventy-one years on the planet, I've never seen anything like this."

Greg Evans, Deadline: But the most notable addition to the show was Springsteen's inclusion of "American Skin (41 Shots)," the song he wrote in 2000 after the NYPD killing of Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old unarmed Black man. Bathed in a red spotlight as he sang "You can get killed just for living in your American skin," Springsteen updated his Broadway show with a 21-year-old song that, tragically, could have been written just last summer.

Andy Greene, The Rolling Stone: The first deviation from the 2017/18 song list came during the Patti Scialfa segment of the show where they followed up the usual "Tougher Than The Rest" with a fun, flirty duet on "Fire." It was a great showcase for Scialfa's vocals, and a better representation of their love for each other than the sorrowful "Brilliant Disguise" from the old show.

Jem Aswad, Variety: He yelled and casually cursed a bit more, and certain reminisces - which are based on his "Born to Run" autobiography - have been abridged, rushed or extended, as would anyone who's telling the same story for the 237th time. He also changed up his delivery on several songs in a singalong-defying way: "Growin' Up" had jittery strumming; "Born in the U.S.A." is even more of a gospel-blues holler, played with a slide on 12-string guitar; he sang "Thunder Road" in his Woody Guthrie-esque semi-Southern accent.

Jay Lustig, NJ Arts: "I'll See You in My Dreams," which closed the show, served as a hopeful, uplifting cap to an evening filled with stories about deceased family members and friends, and also gave hardcore fans the opportunity to hear a Springsteen song they had never heard in person before.

Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post: For a consummate performer like Springsteen, the deeply personal show was routine, but damn was it inspiring for me and the rest of the audience. On Saturday, we learned that tourists are back. Everytime Springsteen mentioned a town - San Francisco, Phoenix, Asbury Park - there were loud cheers from people who live there. He had to tell the out-of-towners to "shut the f-k up."

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