Yes, I am one of the lucky ones who have seen The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, on Broadway. Springsteen on Broadway is a one man show (with the exception of a couple songs with his wife, Patti) narrating his life’s story with the help of some lyrics, guitar, piano, and harmonica. If you have read his book, Born to Run, you have the basis for this show. Just as in the book, he speaks about his parents, growing up in New Jersey, the music business, his wife and kids, and the art of living.
Bruce is very open and honest about his life. His monologue is about all the hard work it took him to become a star, even though he does not see himself that way. When you read his book, you understand why he succeeded in the music industry when so many others do not. He looked at the music business as a profession and not all about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll – even though that stuff happened too. And in the book, he talks about the depression he has suffered into his 60’s. Everyone has their struggles and what we think we know about someone else’s life, is not always what is. His music is his therapy.
He stated in the performance it is ironic that he writes about the blue class workforce when he never held a regular job in his life. Not even one day. In fact he said he never worked 5 days a week until now. Bruce mixes humor in all the right places and a bit of sadness as he talks about the loss of Clarence, Danny, and a few others and how the air is still filled with their space and stories. He speaks about the favorite tree he used to play under while growing up. The tree is long gone and all that is left is a parking lot. He relates that tree to people who have passed and says “We remain in the air, the empty space, in the dusty roots and deep earth, in the echo and stories, the songs of the time and place we inhabited.” I love that!
In his book, he states “That it’s a privilege to exchange smiles, soul and heart directly with the people in front of you. That it’s an honor and great fun to join in concert with those whom you’ve invested so much of yourself in and they in you, your fans, the stars above, this moment, and apply your trade humbly (or not so!) as a piece of a long, spirited chain you’re thankful to be a small link in.” He realizes just how lucky he has been to do the work he loves. And I am grateful for his life’s work!
I have seen many artists in concert on stage. But there is only a small handful that gives everything they got to every performance. Bruce and the E Street Band are one of the few that do and that energy is contagious. He does it again in his one man show. He lays his heart, soul, and passion on the stage each and every night. He is as poetic in his monologue performance as he is in his songs. The man has a way with words. And that my friends, is why we call him The Boss!!!