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Bruce Springsteen revels in the faith of his youth at Tony Awards

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The legendary rock star won a Special Tony award for his Broadway show.

Bruce Springsteen performed a number from his Broadway show Springsteen on Broadway at the 2018 Tony Awards on June 10. The aging rock star took a seat at the piano and reminisced about the Catholic community in which he was raised, before sliding into his classic tune, “My Hometown.”

Springsteen played the piano while he spoke conversationally to the crowd, recalling what it was like growing up in a devoted Catholic community:

I grew up on Randolph Street with my sister Virginia, she was a year younger than me, my parents Adele and Douglas, my grandparents Fred and Alice, and my dog Sal. We lived spitting distance from the Catholic church, the priest’s rectory, the nun’s convent, the St. Rose of Lima grammar school. All of it just a football’s toss away, across a field of wild grass. I literally grew up surrounded by God. Surrounded by God and all my relatives.

We had cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, great-grandmas, great-grandpas, all of us were jammed into five little houses on two adjoining streets. When the church bells rang, the whole clan would hustle up the street to stand witness to every wedding and every funeral that arrived like a state occasion in our neighborhood.

He went on at length discussing the finer points of life in mid-20th-century Freehold, New Jersey, before sliding into the first verse of “My Hometown.”

This is one of the numbers from his ongoing Broadway show, Springsteen on Broadway. Springsteen began his Broadway “residency” in October 2017; however, tickets sold so fast that it was extended twice and is now scheduled to run until the middle of December 2018.

The show, which features a solo act by Springsteen on guitar and piano, is mostly a collection of anecdotes from his 2016 autobiography, Born to Run. Bruce meanders on the piano or guitar while telling tales of his monumental career as well as experiences from his life off the stage.

Of the performances, Bruce has commented:

I wanted to do some shows that were as personal and as intimate as possible. I chose Broadway for this project because it has the beautiful old theaters which seemed like the right setting for what I have in mind. In fact, with one or two exceptions, the 960 seats of the Walter Kerr Theatre is probably the smallest venue I’ve played in the last 40 years. My show is just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music. Some of the show is spoken, some of it is sung. It loosely follows the arc of my life and my work. All of it together is in pursuit of my constant goal to provide an entertaining evening and to communicate something of value.

Springsteen on Broadway was awarded a Special Tony Award, recognizing the success of the show as well as honoring the achievements of The Boss’s life’s work. Along with his Oscar for “Streets of Philadelphia” and his 20-some Grammy Awards, this Tony puts Springsteen “spitting distance” away from becoming the 19th celebrity to win the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony).

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