The Year in Music 2017: The Boss on Broadway

Courtesy of Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen started 2017 by playing a series of shows with The E Street Band in Australia and New Zealand that brought to a close a lengthy world tour in support of the 2015 deluxe box set revisiting his 1979 album, The River. The Boss then took it easy for most of the year, playing just a handful of events before news emerged that he was planning a unique Broadway residency that would see him delivering a run of intimate shows at a small New York City theater.

In early August, Bruce announced official plans for the Springsteen on Broadway show, taking place at the 975-seat Walter Kerr Theatre, with an initial series of dates running from October 3 through November 26. The show quickly became the hottest ticket on Broadway, and by the end of August Springsteen had extended his engagement through February 3, 2018. In November, he announced that the show had been extended yet again, through June 30 of next year.

In an initial statement about the residency, Springsteen explained, “I wanted to do some shows that were as personal and as intimate as possible. I chose Broadway for this project because it has the beautiful old theaters which seemed like the right setting for what I have in mind.”

He added, “My show is just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music. Some of the show is spoken, some of it is sung. It loosely follows the arc of my life and my work. All of it together is in pursuit of my constant goal to provide an entertaining evening and to communicate something of value.”

While Bruce is famous for his long and improvised concert sets, Springsteen on Broadway generally has featured the same 15 songs at each performance — a mix of classics and lesser-known tunes. Springsteen’s wife and longtime backing singer, Patti Scialfa, joins the Boss for a couple of tunes at each show.

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