Springsteen on Broadway creates new performance template

Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa
Updated 15 October 2017

Springsteen on Broadway creates new performance template

NEW YORK: After checking off all the rock star superlatives in his 68 years, Bruce Springsteen has set out to create a wholly new performance template.
“Springsteen on Broadway,” which opened Thursday night, is a deeply personal life story with a soundtrack, a one-man (or one-man and one-woman for two songs) show that is by turns funny and touching. He is onstage five nights a week through Feb. 3 in what has been called his Broadway debut.
The distinction is important. This is a set piece, not a concert where Springsteen usually changes his set-list from night to night. He motioned to fans who greeted him at Wednesday’s final rehearsal with cheers and familiar “Bruuuucce!” shouts to sit down, and stopped people from clapping along to “Dancing in the Dark” by saying, “I will handle it myself.”
The songs — 15 of them in a 130-minute performance — were secondary to Springsteen’s stories about growing up in Freehold, New Jersey, the peeks into what he has reached for artistically and pokes at his own persona. The intimacy of the 960-seat Walter Kerr Theatre is what made it special; Springsteen could step away from the microphone for a verse or two and not worry about his voice not reaching the rafters.
“I have never held an honest job in my entire life,” Springsteen said. “I have never done an honest day’s work. I have never done hard labor. I have never worked nine to five. And yet, that is all that I have ever written about.”
Reciting a stream of his own lyrics about the “death trap” and need to run from the swamps of Jersey, he deadpanned, “I live 10 minutes from my hometown.”
“I came from a boardwalk town where everything is tinged with a bit of fraud,” he said. “So am I, if you have not figured that out yet.”
Some of Springsteen’s stories about growin’ up (the title of his opening song) should be familiar to readers of his autobiography, and he even reads from it. He has a keen eye and novelist’s sense of detail. Talking about going into a bar at his mother’s behest to tell his father it was time to go home, he described his dad’s entire outfit, down to the belt, and the mix of smells exotic to a young boy’s nose.
His monologue about the neighborhood that constituted an eight-year-old boy’s world segued into Springsteen performing, on piano, the song “My Hometown,” which begins with the lyric, “I was eight-years-old and running with a dime in my hand.” Stories of his father, Douglas, and mother, Adele, contrasting moods of darkness and light, were accompanied by performances of the songs “My Father’s House” and “The Wish.”
Local police were not sad to see Springsteen go when, at the age of 19, he packed up his belongings and left Freehold. His family had scattered, he had no job and seemingly no future, yet he spoke wistfully of the experience.


Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

Updated 24 October 2020

Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

  • Word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: Donald Trump said Friday he has not been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen – even before a clip from the British comedian’s new Borat movie forced the US president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani into an awkward explanation.
Asked about the clip – which shows Giuliani in a faked “interview” with an attractive and flirtatious young woman – while speaking to journalists aboard Air Force One, Trump said: “I don’t know what happened.”
“But years ago, you know, he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said no way. That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny.”
Trump said the incident happened about 15 years ago.
“To me, he was a creep,” Trump said.
The president did not provide further details about that encounter, but in a 2003 interview, Baron Cohen – playing the wannabe gangster Ali G – pitched a business venture to Trump: special gloves for eating ice cream.
Before the new Borat film’s release, word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire.
On Wednesday, Giuliani issued an angry denial over the fake interview.
In the film, the encounter appears to leave the 76-year-old former New York mayor in a compromising situation, caught with his hands down his pants in the bedroom.
Giuliani said the scene was “a complete fabrication.”
“I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate,” he tweeted.
“If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise, he is a stone-cold liar.”
The comedian continued to poke fun at Giuliani.
In a video posted on social media, Borat himself leapt to his defense and accused the “fake news media” – a term often used by Trump and his supporters – of turning an “innocent” encounter into “something disgusting.”