Bruce Springsteen's return to Broadway began on Saturday night onstage at New York City's St. James Theatre. USA Today reported the revamped version of the Tony Award-winning Springsteen On Broadway show had several special guests in the audience for opening night — including E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt and New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy. According to reports, there were protesters outside of the theater demonstrating against the show's vaccine requirement.
The show featured several new twists and turns — both thematically and musically, with he and wife Patti Scialfa trading their duet of “Brilliant Disguise” for “Fire” as one of their two team-ups — and “The Boss” including his 2000 song “American Skin (41 Shots),” underscoring the murder of George Floyd. The song replaced the 2005 Devils & Dust standout, “Long Time Comin'.” Springsteen also replaced the show's finale — “Born To Run” — with the 2020 Letter To You closer, “I'll See You In My Dreams.”
Springsteen told the crowd at one point, “We are living in troubled and troubling times. I don't believe I've seen another moment, certainly not in my lifetime, where the survival of democracy itself, not just who's going to be running the show for the next four years, but the survival of democracy itself, is deeply threatened.”