Bruce Springsteen could add variety to Broadway shows with encores

Bruce Springsteen says his nightly “Springsteen on Broadway” shows will follow a script but be about “renewal,” not “repetition.”

Bruce Springsteen is beginning previews of his “Springsteen on Broadway” shows tonight at the Walter Kerr Theatre, so we’ll soon have a better idea about what the shows will be like.

But we know one thing already: There won’t be a lot of variety from night to night. 

“This is a locked-in piece of music and script that I’m going to be performing pretty much the same on a nightly basis,” he told The New York Times in an interview last week. “It’s a solidified piece of work.”

Still, there is a way that he could stay true to that, and also make every evening unique. Play one song (or, what the heck, more than one) at the end of the night, as an encore.

They could be signature songs of his that aren’t in the show, or rarities, or maybe even a Broadway standard or two. They could be planned in advance, or — injecting a bit of spontaneity into the evening — chosen on the spur of the moment.

Encores wouldn’t just be good for the audience. Springsteen is going to be doing 79 of these shows. Doing a different encore every night might also help keep things fresh for him.

Encores would also give him the opportunity to respond to things going on in the world. In the past, for instance, if a major rock figure died in the days before a concert, Springsteen often performed one of that artist’s songs, as a tribute. He could do a Tom Petty song as an encore, tonight.

It could be a moment that everyone in attendance would remember for the rest of their lives.

“Springsteen on Broadway” will continue five nights a week through Feb. 3; visit brucespringsteen.net/broadway for information.

Though the shows are sold out, 26 $75 tickets for each show are being made available through an online lottery; visit luckyseat.com/springsteen-broadway.

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