Bruce Springsteen invites audience members to take photos after his Broadway performances.EXPAND
Bruce Springsteen invites audience members to take photos after his Broadway performances.
Lynn Trimble

Here's Why I'm Doing a Happy Dance Over Springsteen Coming to Netflix

I've done more than my fair share of dancing at Bruce Springsteen concerts through the years. But now I'm doing a different sort of happy dance, after learning that Springsteen on Broadway is coming to Netflix later this year.

Springsteen announced the news on his website on Wednesday, July 18. The global Netflix launch happens on Saturday, December 15. That's the final night of his 236-show run at Walter Kerr Theatre, which has been sold out since it opened in October 2017.

I'm one of the fortunate few to have seen the Broadway show, but only because I hopped on entering the first ticket lottery way back when. My husband, James, entered too, as did our daughter Lizabeth, who lives in New York.

We all lamented not being chosen for the first crop of lottery ticket sales, but more lotteries followed — and eventually we all had the chance to buy tickets.

Even so, we decided not to go full stop.

My husband figured he could cover a year's worth of holidays with a pair of tickets for me and Liz, so that was a no-brainer. He's got anniversaries and birthdays covered until we kick the bucket, as far as I'm concerned.

And naturally, I did the same thing for him, which means Liz got to see the show twice. That's a good thing, because we Springsteen faithful know the sacred obligation of sharing all things Bruce with our progeny.

When Liz had the chance to buy tickets, we remembered another unwritten code: Don't take more tickets than you need, because millions of other people deserve to have their own happy dance, too.

Feeling the anticipating before heading toward my seat at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City.EXPAND
Feeling the anticipating before heading toward my seat at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City.
Lynn Trimble

Basically, it's good to share the Springsteen love.

Still, I started to regret that decision about halfway through Springsteen's performance on April 4, the Wednesday night we sat just a few rows back from fellow Bruce fans Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

Typically, Patti Scialfa joins Springsteen on stage for two numbers at the Walter Kerr Theatre. She's a gifted red-headed musician, member of the E Street Band, and Springsteen's wife since 1991.

She'd have to miss that night's performance, Springsteen told us. They've got three grown children, but every parent knows that you never completely cut the cord. One of their kids needed her that night, so Springsteen shared that she'd be in parenting mode.

I loved her for that, despite being deeply disappointed about her absence. And for a brief moment, I wished I'd been more selfish about buying another set of tickets.

Now, of course, I'll get to see Bruce and Patti together for the Netflix performance — like millions of other eager fans.

And I won't have to contend with all the Oprah lookyloos, or wondering when the ushers will bust the high-profile investigative journalist snagging brief snippets of forbidden video from his seat nearby.

Add Springsteen and a harmonica, and I'm pretty much in my bliss.EXPAND
Add Springsteen and a harmonica, and I'm pretty much in my bliss.
Lynn Trimble

That's reason enough for a happy dance, but there's more.

I'll get to relive the buzz in the theater before Springsteen takes the stage, where the simple set includes an upright piano, stool, mic stand, and smattering of amplifiers with trailing black cords.

And I'll get to hear his opening riff, when Springsteen calls himself a fraud. Apparently, he hasn't actually spent years working on a factory line or doing jail time.

That's hardly news, especially for diehard fans — including those who've read Born to Run, Springsteen's 508-page memoir published in September 2016.

In any case, that's not what really matters.

Instead, it's the way he pours his heart and soul into storytelling.

The storytelling is always there in his music, informed to some degree by autobiography.

But for Springsteen on Broadway, the music (performed sans band) is punctuated by poignant tales of life before, deep within, and beyond music land. Springsteen's mom might as well be there on stage with him, for all the light he shines on her empathetic intuition of her son's own quest for meaning.

For those accustomed to putting Springsteen on the rock-god pedestal, Springsteen on Broadway is a moving, practically poetic, reminder that he's first and foremost a man. He's a mixture of his genes, his upbringing, his gifts, and his screw-ups. And he exists in the wider context of the family, community, and global landscape that's both shaped his music, and been shaped by it as well.

Odds are, I won't actually dance once I'm streaming his Broadway performance on Netflix.

But there's a little piece of my heart, where I'll be tapping out a beat for the shared humanity of this complex and creative man and all who've made his music the anthem of their lives. 

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