5 Surprising Things About Seeing Springsteen on Broadway
This weekend I was fortunate enough to find out if Springsteen's Broadway show really lives up to the hype and the hefty price tag.
With tickets selling for thousands of dollars apiece, Springsteen on Broadway may be one of the hardest shows ever to see in person. Many fans have given up hope of catching The Boss on Broadway, resigned to the fact that only the one percenters will be able to snag the pricy seats.
Well, I'm certainly not someone who lives the lifestyle of the rich and famous, but I was very fortunate to be able to get a ticket to see Springsteen this past weekend. Sitting in the Walter Kerr Theatre as the lights came up, I was convinced that this was one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. But whether it's worth it or not is up to you. Here are a few things I discovered about the experience to help you make up your mind.
Security is super tight
Upon entering the theater we were ushered away from the front door and brought down an alleyway next door. Aside from not having to take off our shoes, the experience was about the same as taking a domestic flight. Most Broadway shows make you open your bag while an usher looks through your belongings with a flashlight. This was a whole new level of security. Phones and bags were run through an x-ray machine and ticket holders were made to walk through a metal detector. The process ran pretty smoothly but can back things up quite a bit as it gets closer to show time.
They're not joking about that no-photograph policy
There were several announcements made before the show warning the audience not to take pictures or video during the show. In addition, a special flyer was included with the Playbill explaining that fans will be ejected from the theater for violating the policy. This wasn't a bluff either. I witnessed one person's screen light up and immediately a blue flashlight pointed out the person as ushers swarmed from two different directions. Fortunately, fans are permitted to take out their phones and snap as many photos as they want during The Boss' curtain call at the end of the show.
Beers are $15 a pop, but that may be a good thing
Yup, you heard me right. A can of beer is $15. While you do get to keep the plastic tumbler it comes in, that's still pretty outrageous even by Broadway standards. But those high prices may be a blessing in disguise. The show clocks in at over two hours and, with no intermissions, you're not going to want to get up to have to use the restroom.
This isn't a concert, so singing and shouting are strongly discouraged
Springsteen on Broadway is one long monologue with songs mixed in to help tell the story of the singer's life. While the show certainly rocks at some points, this is not the kind of show where you jump out of your seat and start dancing. The only time anyone stood up was at the very end for Bruce's standing ovation. And don't even think about screaming out the name of your favorite song. Springsteen's not doing requests; this is a scripted show.
Yes, Springsteen says hi to fans after the show, but no, he won't say hi to you
Everyone I spoke to who saw Springsteen on Broadway told me to be prepared with a pen and paper for Bruce to sign after the show. The singer leaves through the stage door after every performance and takes time to shake hands and pose for photos with fans. Unfortunately, word has gotten out about this and autograph seekers are now lining up outside the theater hours before the show even begins. So if you happen to actually have tickets for the show and expect to catch Bruce on your way out, it's just not happening. When we left the theater we were greeted by thousands of fans behind barricades hoping to catch a glimpse of The Boss on the way to his car.
So, is the show really worth a few thousand dollars? I have to say that Springsteen was incredible. Not only is he an amazing songwriter, singer, guitarist and piano player, but his ability to tell stories and captivate an audience is unparalleled. But whether you think spending the mortgage on a couple of hours at the theater is worth it is a choice only you can make for yourself.
The good news is that you may not actually have to choose. Springsteen recently announced that his Broadway show will be coming to Netflix this winter. Soon, you'll be able to watch The Boss from the comfort of your comfy couch for nothing more than a Netflix subscription. And from what I hear, beers are far much less than $15 and you can always hit the pause button if you need to use the bathroom.