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Springsteen on Broadway Reviews: Simple, Intimate, Profound

Bruce Springsteen sings 15 songs, and reads from a teleprompter to tell stories that were also in his year-old memoir, “Born to Run,” in a Broadway debut  that has the critics cheering; some swooning.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: Springsteen draws us into his world using only his words, lyrics, melodies and expert modulation of mood. The show is a model of finely chiseled simplicity

Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News …intimate and persuasive, satisfying and soul-stirring as it tells the personal journey of an American classic. a tightly scripted chronological narrative tracing his life.

Andy Greene, Rolling Stone: With last year’s myth-shattering, deeply evocative memoir Born to Run, Springsteen introduced readers to the real, vulnerable, complex human being behind his larger-than-life persona. Springsteen on Broadway, at the 975-seat Walter Kerr theater, is in many ways a live version of the book, even if reports that he’d be “reading” from it aren’t quite right: Most of the extensive spoken-word segments are brand new or heavily altered from the book versions… Springsteen digs hard into the bedrock of his life story, and ours: childhood, religion, work, death…one of the most compelling and profound shows by a rock musician in recent memory.

Adam Feldman, Time Out NY: 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…He pulls it all off

Jesse Green, New York Time As music acts go, it thus has more in common with Lena Horne’s revelatory “A Lady and Her Music” from 1981 than with a greatest-hits concert by the likes of Barry Manilow.

 Bobby Olivier, NJ.com if you know Springsteen’s life well or have read his new book, this two-hour performance offers nothing new about the man

Elyse Gardner, BBC News: As a songwriter, we’re reminded, he’s as much an inheritor to Rodgers and Hammerstein as any contemporary pop artist; an unabashed romantic with a probing social conscience, whose soaring tunes give full-throated voice to American dreams and the demons that haunt them.

Amanda Petrusich, New Yorker: an earnest meditation on his life and work, a “long and noisy prayer” delivered by a diligent and practiced showman.

Peter Marks, Washington Post: It’s elegant, it’s austere, it’s moving. And oh my God, it’s Bruce.

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About New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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