Gov. Phil Murphy was in the vaccinated crowd on Saturday, taking in Bruce Springsteen’s return to Broadway as a small group outside the Manhattan theater protested the public health-based requirement for admission.

“An incredibly moving and magical opening night of @springsteen on Broadway. The Boss is back,” Murphy tweeted, along with two photos of Springsteen and his wife and fellow musician, Patti Scialfa on stage.

In order to attend the new, summer-time stretch of Springsteen on Broadway shows, ticket holders must present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

Also in attendance Saturday was Springsteen’s longtime bandmate and collaborator “Little” Steven Van Zandt and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg with his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, as reported by Theaterly.

Springsteen's fellow Monmouth County native, MSNBC news anchor Brian Williams, was in the crowd, too, as spotted by a reporter for the Washington Post.

After initially limiting requirements to U.S. FDA approved vaccines, New York state and Jujamcyn Theaters have since amended requirements to include vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization.

A few dozen demonstrators, upset about the required vaccine for entry, have used the word segregation in their criticism, as seen on signs held up Saturday.

Historically, segregation has been based on race, as in separating students by the color of their skin.

A similar group protested the Foo Fighters show at Madison Square Garden a week earlier, as that show also had a COVID vaccine requirement for fans in-attendance.

New York has been among the first states to rollout such ticketed events requiring full vaccination against COVID-19.

Among concerns voiced by detractors of such requirements are the vaccines' emergency use FDA status.

Until the pandemic, vaccines required for enrollment in New Jersey's public schools, ranging from daycare through colleges and universities, have been around long enough to receive FDA approval.

In those cases, there has been recent, passionate debate over maintaining the religious exemption process for families, stemming from the at-times tenuous balance between public health and civil liberties.

Murphy has continued to hesitate to support the vaccine passport approach for New Jersey venues and events, voicing concerns for vaccine equity as a main reason.

Trending News in Asbury Park

More From Beach Radio