Article 2017-09-22 Pollak Theatre, West Long Branch, NJ

Bruce Springsteen on Broadway 2nd Monmouth rehearsal: ‘The book come to life’

If you have tickets to "Springsteen on Broadway" and you'd like to be surprised by what you see on stage, don't read any further.

However, if you don't have tickets, or if you do and you want to get an idea of what the Boss is cookin', read on.

Springsteen performed a second rehearsal show Friday, Sept. 22 at the Pollak Theatre on the campus of Monmouth University in West Long Branch to around 200 friends and insiders. The show is "the book come to life and then some," said an attendee who requested anonymity. "It was very cool."

The book is Springsteen's hit memoir, "Born to Run."

"He opened up with 'Growin' Up' and he moved over to the piano for ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,’ telling stories about his life," said the attendee.

The stage was bare except for Springsteen, wearing all black, with an acoustic guitar and a piano. He also played a harmonica. There were no added visuals, but we're told the performance, billed as a “workshop,” was "vivid." The show clocked in at just under two hours.

Springsteen spoke of his upbringing in Freehold, in the shadow of St. Rose of Lima.

"When you’re young, you want to do nothing but get out of where you came from and now I live 10 miles away," said Springsteen, to laughter.

The stories included traveling cross-country with former manager Carl "Tinker" West; meeting "Born on the Fourth of July" author Ron Kovic at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood; how he and the late Clarence Clemons were "going to bust up the town" and a fateful trip to the draft board in Newark with Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez.

"We thought we were headed to our funeral in Newark," Springsteen said.

Songs performed included "Born in the U.S.A.", "The Ghost of Tom Joad," "Dancing in the Dark," "The Rising," "Tougher Than the Rest" and "Brilliant Disguise." Patti Scialfa, an E Street Band member and Springsteen's wife, accompanied the Boss for "Tougher Than the Rest."

The show moves to Broadway with previews beginning Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

On Friday, Springsteen closed the performance by reciting the Lord's Prayer and then singing "Born to Run."

"He was in fine form," said the attendee. "It was awesome."

By Chris Jordan via Asbury Park Press.
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