Springsteen was presented the award by Robert De Niro, who caused the network to bleep him for saying “Fuck Trump” live while on air. Then he graciously presented the singer-songwriter’s performance, while commenting “Do you have any idea how hard it is to get tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s show on Broadway?” Then Springsteen gave a spoken word adaptation of his one-man show, performing a short rendition of “My Hometown” during the production while playing the piano. During the spoken part, he spoke about growing up “surrounded by God and all my relatives” near St. Rose’s Cemetery, where people did the best they could to “hold off the demons, outside and inside, that sought to destroy them.”
Springsteen also received a special Tony in honor – presented by Billy Joel – of his wildly successful and critically acclaimed show, Springsteen on Broadway. The production finds Springsteen performing a career-spanning setlist packed with classics and deep cuts, while also delivering spoken-word segments that are either new or culled from his 2016 memoir, Born to Run.
In his review, Rolling Stone‘s Andy Greene wrote of the show, “The performance is hard to categorize. It’s not a concert; not a typical one-man-show; certainly not a Broadway musical. But it is one of the most compelling and profound shows by a rock musician in recent memory.”
Springsteen on Broadway debuted at the Walter Kerr Theatre last October. The initial run was supposed to last just over a month, but the show is now scheduled to wrap this December. In all, Springsteen will have played 236 shows during his Walter Kerr residency.