Bruce Springsteen to release Broadway show as Netflix special in December


Bruce Springsteen performs during his show, Springsteen on Broadway, at the Walter Kerr Theater in New York, on Oct 5, 2017. His show will be recorded and released as a Netflix special on Dec 15, the day of the production’s final onstage performa
Bruce Springsteen performs during his show, Springsteen on Broadway, at the Walter Kerr Theater in New York, on Oct 5, 2017. His show will be recorded and released as a Netflix special on Dec 15, the day of the production’s final onstage performance. PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK (NYTimes) - Bruce Springsteen is recording his Broadway show and will release it as a Netflix special on Dec 15, the day of the production's final onstage performance.

He invited a private audience for two extra performances this week - one Tuesday (July 17) and one Wednesday - while cameras recorded his performance for the special.

Springsteen On Broadway, which has been running at the 948-seat Walter Kerr Theater since October, is a reflective two-hour programme in which Springsteen intersperses stripped-down versions of some of his most popular songs with stories about his life adapted from his memoir, Born To Run. He performs the show mostly alone - accompanying himself on piano, guitar and harmonica - but is also joined for a few songs by his wife, Patti Scialfa.

The show has been an enormous financial success, with an average price of about US$510 (S$700) per ticket (that is the face value - some people pay more to purchase from resellers). As of Sunday, the show had grossed US$76 million and had been seen by a total audience of 151,549 people.

Springsteen generally does four or five shows a week - fewer than the usual eight for most Broadway productions - and has taken several weeks off; as of Sunday he had performed the show 160 times.

The show has been appealing to fans in part because it afforded them a rare opportunity to see one of the nation's most popular recording artists in a venue much smaller than the arenas and stadiums in which he usually performs. After extending the show three times, Springsteen has said the final performance will be Dec 15, at which point he will have done the show 236 times.

The show won very strong reviews from critics, and Springsteen this year was given a special, noncompetitive Tony Award in recognition of the production. (He had opted not to vie for any competitive prizes - he made himself ineligible by declining to invite the 840 Tony voters to see the show.)

A well-received television special could make Springsteen one of a handful of EGOT artists - those who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Springsteen won an Oscar in 1994 for his song from Philadelphia and has won 20 Grammys, so he needs only an Emmy to complete the awards grand slam.