What About a Bruce Springsteen Musical?

Bruce at PSU

Next month Bruce Springsteen will begin a four month stint on Broadway.  But what if Springsteen’s music returned to New York City in the form a musical?

Over at The New York Times, theater writer Michael Paulson tries to imagine what a Bruce Springsteen musical might look like.  He asked five dramatists to “take their owns stab” at Springsteen musicals.  Read about them here.

My favorite comes from playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer:

In these times of political turmoil, America cries for a fresh musical exploration of our origins. Yes, 1969 yielded us the brilliant “1776,” but, decades later, we require a new celebration of our founding fathers. Whose songs better capture the heartbeat of those times than the great American songster Bruce Springsteen?

The show opens with Bruce, arriving from his birthplace in the Caribbean (that’s a little-known fact), with an ironic “Born in the U.S.A.” He meets three wealthy New Jersey sisters and falls in love with the second, “Rosalita,” whom he courts and wins with his passionate “Fire.” But, as Bruce finds himself locking horns with the politician Aaron Burr, “Your Own Worst Enemy” foreshadows tragedy to come.

Bruce joins the Continental Army under George Washington, and their duet “Born to Run” expresses the two men’s political and military ambitions, as Bruce quickly becomes the general’s right-hand man. But his lifelong rivalry with Burr finally erupts in a duel, and the musical mash-up of “Devils and Dust” and “Roulette”captures the fight, and then the demise of our hero.

But as Bruce and the cast sing “We Are Alive,” we realize that, though he is dead, this great American will live on, and his songbook will tell his story.

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