Last night I was fortunate and lucky enough to see “Springsteen on Broadway” at the St. James theater on West 44th Street in my hometown. Outside of being a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen and did all that I could to attain the two tickets, this was my first visit to a Broadway theater since February 2020. Along these lines, this was also my first visit to Times Square restaurant as well. As a life-long devotee of theater and dining, this has been an extraordinary, and frankly depressing 15 months since I and millions of others have not had the ability to participate in.
The economic devastation the pandemic has been written and talked about and in raw numbers which illustrates the local economic devastation, in the last full season before the pandemic, 14.8 million people saw a Broadway show. Let that sink in for a moment and think about the ancillary businesses that thrive on this commerce including restaurants, food trucks, retailers and even the Naked Cowboy.
What does this one-man show bring to Broadway and the local economy? The New York Times featured a story last week about how this one staging of a rather small cast of one, along with wife Patti Scalfa for a few songs, brings back jobs. As noted in the story, “Springsteen on Broadway” is essentially a one-man show, but its return has already brought back work for about 75 people at the St. James…but also another 30 ushers and ticket-takers, as well as merch sellers, bar staff, porters, cleaners, stagehands, box office workers, a pair of managers and an engineer”.
Broadway theaters are due to open in full capacity in September and based on the full house I experienced last night, New York, NY will begin its rise back to a full house again.
As for the show itself, in a word, “exquisite”.
Happy July 4th!