In an epic return to normalcy, “The Boss”—Bruce Springsteen—reopens Broadway attracting belligerent protestors.
After a year of hardship, isolation, and trauma, who better to kickstart the reopening of Broadway—the pinnacle of theatrical productions—than the heart and soul of America’s middle class—Bruce Springsteen.
This Broadway performance is based on his international best seller autobiography Born to Run and features “the boss” on guitar, piano, and intimate stories about his life. Needless to say, the opening audience was ecstatic. Multiple times, Springsteen had to quiet down the crowd giddy with pent up energy. Who wouldn’t be after nearly two years of isolation, though? Springsteen honored their enthusiasm and was quoted by David Bauder from the Associated Press (AP) saying, “It’s good to see everyone here tonight unmasked, sitting next to each other…What a year. I’m 71 years on this planet and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Despite Harmony, Discord Arose.
In law abiding fashion, audience members were required to bring proof of vaccination, a simple measure to ensure public safety; however, not everyone supported the measures and some shouted seditious slanders targeting the singer. One would hope the momentous return to public gatherings would incite peace and harmony, but even though the Covid pandemic is somewhat under control, the discord from the widespread cognitive dissonance rages on. Jordan Hoffman, a Vanity Fair writer, reported, “three dozen, vocal” protestors outside the theater hefted signs accusing the iconic singer with slurs such as, “We learned in the ‘60’s that segregating people isn’t right!”, and “Bruce Springsteen is for Segregation on Broadway!” Hoffman reported one man even shouted repeatedly, “Welcome to Nazi Germany!” In non-dividing, patriotic class, the iconic singer looked past the slurs and empathized with the disruptors.
“I understand those folks out in the street. It’s scary, scary times filled with confusion,” ~Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen (Salon/Getty Images)
The Heart & Soul of Middle-class America
It’s preposterous to smear his good name with “segregation.” Springsteen has always represented the plight of the American people. In fact, May 13th 2021, he was awarded the Woody Guthrie Award, an award specifically for singers who use their talents for the common good. Deana McCloud, the Woody Guthrie Center Executive Director, said of Bruce, “He is able to express those struggles that every day people have while still allowing us to celebrate our incredible accomplishments. They’re the songs that provide the soundtrack to our lives.” With songs like Born in America and American Skin, Bruce continues to tell the story of what is at the heart of 2021 America—dreamers, workers, parents and children, racism, fear and uncertainty caused by Covid, and everything in between.
“A rising tide lifts all boats.”~ John F. Kennedy
Bruce Springsteen is anything but a segregator; in contrast, the Woody Guthrie Award winner honors the plight of his fellow citizens. To pay tribute to Amadou Diallo and George Floyd, the American singer, shared his 2000 song American Skin in the program, and in poetic classic Bruce fashion, Springsteen donated his opening night proceeds to several charities.
- the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County,
- Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids,
- Community FoodBank of New Jersey,
- Food Bank for New York City,
- Fulfill (Monmouth & Ocean Counties Foodbank), Long Island Cares,
- NJ Pandemic Relief Fund
- The Actor’s Fund.
This Tony award winning show despite the discord has ushered in the goodwill people need now more than ever. Springsteen on Broadway has risen from the Covid Ash and despite the non-peaceful protestors picketing outside, Bruce has continued to exemplify the voice echoing humanities indomitable spirit. Thank you, Bruce!