The critics’ reactions to Bruce Springsteen on Broadway are in

The residency takes place at New York City's Walter Kerr Theatre

With Bruce Springsteen‘s Broadway residency kickstarted, the critics’ overwhelmingly positive reactions have begun rolling in.

The 18-week run, which takes place at New York City’s Walter Kerr Theatre, has been promised to be a “personal” and “intimate” affair. Images from the preview show indicate a sparse set made up of a black grand piano and a few acoustic guitars.

Now, with the show fully under way, a number of critical reactions have come to light.


Bruce Springsteen Broadway
Bruce Springsteen

Rolling Stone call the Broadway show an ‘intimate triumph’, while the BBC have also called the show ‘intimate and personal’, with reporter Elysa Gardner noting that the residency is “neither a musical nor a concert in the tradition of his previous solo tours.”

She continues: “The two-hour program is also, in its distinctly intimate, sometimes darkly earnest fashion, an affirmation of the earnest showmanship and vivid storytelling that Springsteen’s rock and roll shares with musical theatre.”

Over at Pitchfork, writer Sam Sodomsky calls the show ‘the loneliest thing Springsteen’s ever done’. Praising Springsteen’s voice and the solo set-up of the residency, Sodomsky writes: “A key component of both Springsteen’s Broadway show and his memoir involves his self-proclaimed fraudulence, as he pokes holes in the image he’s established over the last four decades.”

‘Bruce gets personal in his one man show’, write Billboard, continuing: “for two hours, Springsteen held the crowd rapt with a monologue – sometimes spoken in the sing-song evangelist-style rap that he adopts between numbers at his concerts – and music that largely dealt with one of the larger themes of his work: the bonds formed through family, community and bands.”


The NY Post notes that Springsteen’s show has been reducing its audiences to tears, while the New York Times‘ critic Jesse Green dubs the ‘real and intense’ show “a greatest anti-hits concert”, noting: “Many of the songs Mr. Springsteen has chosen to sing are less familiar and more meditative than his chart-toppers, and those that were chart-toppers are almost unrecognizable.”

In a five-star review for The Guardian, Laura Barton praises the “two hours of music and storytelling interlaced with a kind of warm intimacy.”

Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway residency runs until February 3, 2018.