The New Yorker on ‘Heroes’
We admire people who can do something we can’t. If we wish we could do that thing, too—or are very glad we don’t have to—then we call those people heroes. Hero worship beamed in all directions at Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre the other night during “Stand Up for Heroes,” a benefit for Bob Woodruff’s foundation, which aids wounded veterans. (Woodruff, an ABC News correspondent, was himself badly wounded in Iraq in 2006.) The show’s array of stars had other stars crowding in backstage to watch. “It’s a little Rat Pack-y thing,” Max Weinberg, Bruce Springsteen’s longtime drummer, said. When Tony Bennett sang “The Best Is Yet to Come,” Springsteen was humming along, just offstage. “Fabulous,” he said about Bennett’s swingy, catfooted phrasing. “Fabulous! I do not want to follow Tony Bennett.”
But he did, ripping into “Open All Night,” backed by Weinberg’s fifteen-piece band. Bob Woodruff stood in the wings, bobbing on the downbeats. “You can’t top this,” he told his wife, Lee, who was shimmying in a purple dress. Nearby, Jon Stewart, the evening’s host, was pounding the air drums alongside a wary Jerry Seinfeld, who stood with his arms crossed. When Springsteen hopped onto the Steinway to play a few licks, the crowd went crazy, and Stewart leaned toward Seinfeld and said, “If you could do that, you would. That’s what you would do.” After a moment, Seinfeld nodded.