When the Boss comes to Broadway

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 11, 2016 shows US musician Bruce Springsteen with the E Street Band at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris. Bruce Springsteen, renowned for his high-energy marathon concerts to packed arenas, is dialing it down a notch and heading to Broadway."The Boss" announced on August 9, 2017 that he would play a series of solo shows on New York's famed theater strip beginning in October."I wanted to do some shows that were as personal and as intimate as possible," the 67-year-old rock legend said in a statement. / AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAYBERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images
Bruce Springsteen performing with the E Street Band at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, July 2016. Springsteen has announced that he will play a series of solo shows at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway beginning in October.

The announcement that Bruce Springsteen is heading to Broadway comes as no surprise to his diehard fans, since he’s long favored a look that includes a “Fiddler on the Roof” vest. And the Boss hasn’t exactly kept his political affiliations close to that vest. To that end, despite his announcement that this will be a solo show (“just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music”), we can’t help imagining that he’s hired some #Resist members and Broadway veterans to assist with the new show.

Here’s just a taste of what fans might hear:

All references to ’Nam will now be replaced with references to Guam. Lyrics about Ohio will be changed. The album “Nebraska” will be renamed.


“Born in the USA” becomes “Born in the USA, or Anywhere, Everyone Is Welcome Here At My Shows, But Still Not You, Chris Christie.” Related: Advertisers are discouraged from calling it “The Great White Way.”

Get Arguable in your inbox:
Jeff Jacoby on everything from politics to pet peeves to the passions of the day.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Eponine from “Les Miz” will appear to sing a mash-up of “A Little Fall of Rain” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” called “Who’ll Stop the Little Fall of Nuclear Rain”?

“Prove It All Night” will be “Prove It Just Once, Show Us One Ounce of Proof, We’ve Got All Night.” The cast of “Proof” will reunite to calculate the debt ceiling on a chalkboard in the background, then shrug their shoulders dramatically.

The cast of “South Pacific” will reunite and be joined by Mika Brzezinski and Megyn Kelly with a medley of “Bloody Mary” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair,” then sing with Bruce on his fave, “Red Headed Woman,” reworked as “Wash That Red Headed Man Right Out of Our Hair.”

Male cast members of “Les Miz” will come onstage to sing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” to a backdrop scroll of fired or resigned former administration members, like the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscars, while Bruce starts “Fire.” Encore: audience sing-a-long with lyrics to “Pants on Fire.”


He’ll merge “Streets of Philadelphia” with “On the Street Where You Live,” from “My Fair Lady,” to create the hybrid rock/show tune “On the Street Where You Live in Philadelphia They Are Going To Ask For Voter ID, Don’t Give In — They Might Be Gerrymandering.” For an encore, he’ll be joined on stage by Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire to sing the newly written parody “Drug-Infested Streets of New Hampshire.”

The cast of “Hello Dolly” will sing “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” Mandy Patinkin will sing “Sunday” from “Sunday in the Park With George,” while Springsteen performs “I’m Going Down.” Then they’ll form a rousing version of a new song, “You’re Going Down on Sunday on the Tube With George,” as the set dissolves to a pointillist portrait of George Stephanopoulos .

In a special segment, he’ll dim the lights in the shape of the summer’s eclipse and the audience members will have glow sticks while he performs “Darkness on the Edge of Town” as “Darkness on the Edge of the Destruction of All Humanity by Nuclear Weapons.” Encore: “Dancing in the Dark Because We Have No More Electricity,” also with glow sticks and possibly Courtney Cox from “Friends.”

Fan favorite downers “War” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad” remain unchanged.

Finally, he’ll be joined by Effie, of “Dreamgirls,” to sing a special dramatic rendition combo of “I’m Not Going” along with “Born To Run” to create the new “We’re Telling You, No, Please, Don’t Run.”

Debra A. Klein is a writer in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @IWishIHadTyped.