The stars were certainly born to run to the opening of Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show. Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Edward Norton, Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim, Brian Williams, Jimmy Iovine, Tommy Mottola, Thalia, Nathan Lane, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Steven Van Zandt were among those who were able to nab hot tickets to Springsteen on Broadway on Thursday night. The famous fans capped the evening with an intimate party with the Boss at New York City’s Polo Bar (while the rest of the show’s guests gathered at the massive Hard Rock Cafe).
During the opening-night performance of the two-hour musical memoir, the seasoned singer combined excerpts from his best-selling 2016 autobiography Born to Run with 15 songs from his back catalog — tunes which many devout ticketholders knew by heart and felt compelled to sing and clap along. However, as in previews, Springsteen very briefly paused "Dancing in the Dark" to tell the audience with a laugh, "I'll handle this myself." The audience applauded loudly after a section paying tribute on the late E Street Band member Clarence Clemons, as well as a brief reflection on the political scene and the recent resurgence of torch-bearing racial hatred ("I believe that what we're seeing now is just a bad chapter in the ongoing battle for the soul of the nation," he said). His curtain call was met with the “Bruce!” chants reminiscent of his arena shows, as well as a lengthy standing ovation (though there was no encore number, despite widespread hope for one).