Ends Feb 03

Springsteen on Broadway

Members say: Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Must see, Relevant
89
Critics
85
40 reviews
Members
94
15 reviews
 

Legendary Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen comes to Broadway in a new autobiographical solo show.

... Read more

At 960 seats, the Walter Kerr Theatre is one of the smallest venues Springsteen has played in the last 40 years. Join the iconic musical storyteller in this intimate environment for his new piece, a part-spoken, part-sung performance that loosely follows the arc of his life and work.

 

Cast & Creatives (7)



Reviews (55)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
85
Avg Score

90
Broadway News

“Here he presents himself not as the stadium-filling rock god, but instead he engages in a more intimate and difficult process, collapsing the distance between artist and audience, between his art and the lived experience of those who take comfort and solace in it…Springsteen clarifies the meanings and the substance of his songs with a becoming simplicity and humility occasionally trimmed with humor...A remarkable performance of some of his greatest music." Full Review

90
Time Out New York

"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 acapella 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." Full Review

90
Theatermania

"A two-hour, 15-song set that left everyone breathless...Meticulously scripted, yet still retains the air of being off-the-cuff, 'Springsteen on Broadway' offers a walk through the artist's life...The most exciting aspect is how Bruce still manages to surprise us after all these decades...This emotional honesty, on display throughout the evening, could only register in a venue like the Walter Kerr...An unforgettable experience." Full Review

80
Village Voice

"That’s the beauty of this disarming and revelatory concert-cum-monologue: Springsteen punctures his legend even as he demonstrates why it was so damned seductive...The evening has shape, and it’s gracefully executed by a lifelong showman with tremendous charisma and intelligence, but at bottom, it’s a ritual. He’s Bruce, we love him, and therefore the evening is exalted, extraordinary. That’s not so much a criticism as a recognition of a phenomenon." Full Review

95
The New York Times

“There came a moment near the end of Springsteen’s overwhelming and uncategorizable Broadway show, when it seemed possible to see straight through his many masks to some core truth of his being….‘Springsteen on Broadway’ is a solo act by a solo artist with an artist’s steel…A painful if thrilling summing-up at 68: a major statement about a life’s work, but also a major revision of it…As portraits of artists go, there may never have been anything as real — and beautiful — on Broadway.” Full Review

90
The Hollywood Reporter

“A beautifully crafted reflection on his life, his career, and his country…There is, however, a robust narrative shape, a deceptively rambling but cohesive vision of personal and professional experience…The anecdotes and song choices work together hand in glove, shifting with ease from humor to sadness…The show is a model of finely chiseled simplicity, by turns contemplative, moving and joyous…Anyone lucky enough to catch 'Springsteen on Broadway' will be witnessing rock history." Full Review

80
Chicago Tribune

“This is not merely a massively profitable concert residency...‘Springsteen on Broadway’ is a very serious attempt at self-definition as written and self-directed by one of America’s most intense and driven performers, a man who cannot act as one other than himself, and does not care to try, but who sure can make his own past live in the present moment. He can take you there for he takes himself there, and lives there again.” Full Review

85
New York Daily News

“‘Springsteen on Broadway’ is intimate and persuasive, satisfying and soul-stirring…A tightly scripted chronological narrative tracing his life…Between acoustic arrangements and slow tempos, lyrics really resonate. Springsteen is in complete command when he’s singing…Being locked to a script at times stunts his naturalness and ease. But the intimacy of the setting — and his magnetism — make up for occasional lapses in spontaneity.” Full Review

85
Deadline

"You might think Bruce Springsteen doesn’t belong on Broadway, but you would be wrong…‘Springsteen on Broadway’ is a perfect concert…An electrifying (well, an acoustifying) session of mostly big big songs rendered without embellishment…‘Springsteen on Broadway’ is written as much as sung and, rock’n’roll or no, it’s a serious gig. Bruce flattered everyone there with his attention, and the attention to detail." Full Review

90
Financial Times (UK)

"There is no grand autobiographical sweep, just an episodic succession of granular memories...With Springsteen’s voice still remarkably un-blurred at 68, the intimate setting ensures that each lyric has complete poetic clarity...The only drawback here is that Springsteen relies on an autocue. He thus sacrifices a bit of spontaneity for fidelity to his own finely crafted text...You’ll never get another chance to get this close, in every sense, to The Boss." Full Review

85
NY1

"He is as authentic as they come - a true poet musician - and perhaps the best that we've got...Much like his own persona, the staging is quite basic, gritty, and raw...At 68, Bruce Springsteen is clearly thinking about mortality, and his show is something of a soulful elegy. That might disappoint some fans. But he is The Boss after all, and listening to his reveries about home and family, he comes to own that stage; and for two glorious, intermission-less hours, he owns us, too." Full Review

90
The Washington Post

“It’s elegant, it’s austere, it’s moving. And oh my God, it’s Bruce…A taut and beautifully turned-out evening as sincerely wrought as a poetry reading…It’s a quest for a New York audience to listen for the craft in an American voice ringing with simple truths…He is blazing a trail for other recording artists of his mass appeal and rarefied caliber to come to midtown and create something just as artfully interesting…The long prose passages of 'Springsteen on Broadway' are deeply emotional.” Full Review

85
BBC London

"Neither a musical nor a concert in the tradition of his previous solo tours...A meticulously crafted, deeply personal journey with set words and music...An affirmation of the exuberant showmanship and vivid storytelling that Springsteen's rock and roll shares with musical theatre...As the show progressed the emphasis shifted to more mature concerns and rewards. It's here that Springsteen's ability to open his heart and transcend sentimentality came to the fore.” Full Review

80
Daily Beast

"It is not a conventional Broadway show, and it is not a conventional rock concert, but being beached between the two feels more intimate...A warmly involving, beautifully sung, and deftly structured evening of song and storytelling...The show drifts a little toward the end—not horribly, it just loses some tightness...But his mastery of the guitar, harmonica, and piano, his heartfelt, raspy voice, are a joy...A transfixing showcase of musical genius and magic." Full Review

90
Los Angeles Times

“A performance that few lucky enough to attend will ever forget…Springsteen could easily have turned his autobiography over to Broadway hacks, who would have jumped at the chance at adapting his life story into a jukebox musical. But thankfully he created something more artfully haunting…His prose, even when overripe, conveys the richness of his heart. But his presence onstage communicates his soul...Broadway, it turns out, is an ideal highway for his mature artistry.” Full Review

85
Showbiz 411

"He’s like us: he struggles with his childhood, has father issues, and admits to stretching the truth at times. In this way, he is disarming as hell. That makes his Broadway show transcendent. And transplendent. And kind of magnificent. He’s not like us at all: he is a master showman, a gifted musician...A highlight of this show is 'The Rising,' written about 9-11. His face is different when he sings it. That’s when he transcends a night with a rocker on Broadway." Full Review

45
NJ.com

"Sorry to break the bad news, but Springsteen's choice to develop this residency by himself, without the help of a stage-savvy director, has proven a cavalier and foolish decision -- the arc of this disjointed production is saved only by its music and the exclusivity of its venue....Sure, there is an inherent intimacy many fans will never experience again, and sonically the show was brilliant...If you know Springsteen's life well or have read his new book, this performance offers nothing new." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"A deeply personal life story with a soundtrack, a one-man show that’s by turns funny and touching...The songs were secondary to Springsteen’s stories about growing up...He has a keen eye and novelist’s sense of detail...The performance offered a new way to experience someone usually only visible as a speck on a distant stage, a new way to connect with a hero...Much of the latter third is outward looking and feels more like a concert than a show." Full Review

80
Gothamist

"The show finds Springsteen reflecting back on life so far—it's humorous, melancholy, and even therapeutic...Just you and him—at least that's how it feels—and whatever you are willing to take from the lessons the legend is offering...You will hear some hits, but you will hear them as you haven't before, stripped down to their skeletons—raw and vulnerable...You'll be transported from the boardwalk towns of his youth to the coast of California, then back to Jersey again to find his roots." Full Review

90
Rolling Stone

"This is nothing like a typical latter-day Springsteen concert...The intensity is, instead, emotional, as Springsteen digs hard into the bedrock of his life story...One of the most compelling and profound shows by a rock musician in recent memory...There's an incredible power to sitting so close from him while he strums a guitar...and tells his life story in rich detail...Each segment is designed for maximum emotional impact...A fresh, powerful artistic achievement in its own right." Full Review

90
The Guardian (UK)

"Two hours of music and storytelling interlaced with a kind of warm intimacy...At such close range, Springsteen’s precision as performer is quite astounding, each moment deliberate yet effortless...He can conjure a crowd, too, pitching his tone somewhere between beat poet and baptist preacher...He pays respect to the transformative, ludicrous joy of what he does – and to its importance, too...Deep and joyful." Full Review

80
Variety

"A kind of live autobiography...The songs take a back seat to the stories, acting almost as illustrations or interludes or interjections...While he’s faithful to the original feel of most songs, he drastically reinterprets some of the biggest ones...Springsteen’s everyman persona can obscure his deep intelligence and formidable talent as a wordsmith...As much a self-made monument to its master’s vision and hurricane-force ambition as it is to his life and career." Full Review

90
Entertainment Weekly

"Lets one of popular music’s most beloved icons flex all kinds of creative muscle in a rare, intimate setting that showcases the true breadth of talents...Knowing the stories doesn’t ruin the magic; instead, there’s an added richness and warmth that comes with experiencing them live in a multi-disciplinary, 360-degree performance...Springsteen’s an ace dry comedian, but he’s even better when he’s breaking your heart...A fuller picture of Springsteen, the human." Full Review

80
Asbury Park Press

"A magical tale of self-discovery, ambition, and faith...On stage, there is a genius at work...Yet there were times when the stories and songs didn’t mesh as well as other points in the show, and the narrative meandered. 'Springsteen on Broadway' lapsed into a solo music performance at times, which isn’t a bad thing, but wasn’t exceptional....A masterstroke by an artist who continues to evolve." Full Review

80
The Times (UK)

"The wonder is that you can hear it...You can hear his sudden intakes of breath and his guitar pick squeaking on the strings...It’s a very funny show: the man could easily fill a comedy special and that’s before you get to a bluesy reworking of 'Born In the USA,' or an emotional rendition of 'Tenth Avenue Freeze Out'...He gives up his life in intimate, granular detail...He hopes that his crowds come for a sort of joyous communion. That was true of this audience." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
94
Avg Score

94
Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like great story telling and seeing a legend in action.

Don't see it if You expect a traditional Bruce concert

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Masterful, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you want to hear about a "stars" journey and get a deeper insight into this persons life and music

Don't see it if you aren't the least bit interested in Bruce Springsteen's music or life

Also I was surprised by this show. I thought it was more concert and less s... Read more Read less

92
Poignant, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, All bruce!!!

See it if You love Bruce Springsteen and his music and want to hear stories about his life, family and beliefs. More like a show than a concert.

Don't see it if You are hoping to know every word to every song and expect lots of glitz and glamor.

96
Absorbing, Must see, Relevant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if want to see Springsteen masterfully telling stories woven into his music with only Bruce, his guitars, harmonica, and his piano

Don't see it if If you can get a ticket, there is no reason not to see this great performance.

Also Seeing Springsteen in an intimate theater setting instead of a stadium... Read more Read less

100
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Amazing to see it in such an intimate setting. IF you love BRUCE. Great stories of his life. And family. Moving.

Don't see it if If you don't like Bruce.

100
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if love the Boss

Don't see it if you do not like the Boss

100
Absorbing, Must see, Relevant, Resonant, Great singing

See it if You're a Springsteen fan, of course, but even if you're not, it's a one man autobiography "play". Raw, pure Bruce like most have never seen.

Don't see it if You're not a fan, or you don't like a one man show.

90
Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Nostalgic, Engaging

See it if You like Bruce Springsteen, grew up with his music, care about our emerging culture during the '60s-'80s.

Don't see it if You hate rock'n'roll.

Also Highly personal and wisely conceived, Springsteen's autobiographical s... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Must see, Profound, Relevant

See it if you are a Springsteen fan, or maybe even if you are not, if you are a fan of troubadors and story-tellers...

Don't see it if you aren't enthusiastic; there are so many others who deserve to go...

90
During previews
Epic, Intelligent, Masterful, Measured

See it if you can get tickets. Adds to Bruce canon with story telling. It's an autobiography with classic songs. Gentle pace, no concert frenzy.

Don't see it if you can't behave in theater. If you like full band sound the acoustic arrangement will disorient you. Bruce's life story-not greatest hits.

89
During previews
Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if A fascinating evening! Wonderful acoustic arrangements of Bruce's best, interspersed with intimate stories from his autobiography.

Don't see it if Bruce fans are not accustomed to theater behavior. Texting, photos, shouting from the audience dominate. Be prepared, try to roll with it.

87
During previews
Resonant, Entertaining, Great singing, Great music., Bruuuuuccceeeee!

See it if You are a Bruce fan. It’s like a storytelling concert in your living room. Great arrangements. Engaging stories.

Don't see it if You are expecting a behaved theater-going audience. Cell phones everywhere and the occasional person trying to turn it into a stadium show.

Also A must for any Springsteen fan. It’s almost not fair to score this lik... Read more Read less

95
During previews
Absorbing, Refreshing, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to experience Bruce in a new, up-close way with other super-fans. See him weave story and song with audience following every word.

Don't see it if You want to see the raucous, manic Bruce on stage playing his music just like you hear it on the radio. This is intimate and personal.

96
During previews
Surprisingly funny, touching, vulnerable, powerful

See it if You are a Springsteen fan, but also appreciate a Spaulding Gray monologue. True storytelling; like a great country song. So moving!

Don't see it if Some of the audience’s non-Broadway behavior will distract you - singing along and in one case dancing detracts from power of show.

96
During previews
Funny, Ambitious, Intense, Must see, Profound

See it if You love Bruce Springsteen and want to experience him telling you his life story in a funny, emotional and powerful way.

Don't see it if You expect a rock concert or don't like heavy conversation about mortality