Rocky the Musical

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Rocky the Musical
Rocky the Musical.jpg
2012 Hamburg poster
Music Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics Lynn Ahrens
Book Thomas Meehan
Setting 1975 Philadelphia
Basis 1976 film Rocky
Premiere 18 November 2012 (2012-11-18) – Operettenhaus, Hamburg
Productions 2012 Hamburg
2014 Broadway

Rocky the Musical (originally Rocky: Das Musical)[1][2] is a 2012 musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, with a book by Thomas Meehan, adapted from a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone.[3] The show held its world premiere in Hamburg in 2012 and opened on Broadway in 2014 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The show roughly follows the plot of the 1976 film Rocky.

Background[edit]

The musical is based on the 1976 film Rocky, with a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone.[4] The film itself was made on a budget of $1,075,000,[5] shot in 28 days[6] and was a sleeper hit,[7] earning $225 million in global box office receipts[8] becoming the highest grossing film of 1976[9] and went on to win three Oscars,[10] including Best Picture.[11] Having been in the works for eight years,[12] a workshop was held in New York in April 2011,[13] with Andy Karl playing Rocky and Lisa Brescia playing Adrian.[14] Following the reading it was officially confirmed in November[15] by producer Sylvester Stallone alongside boxers and co-producers[16] Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko,[17] that the show would receive its world premiere in Hamburg in November 2012.[18]

The musical, which premiere production cost around $20 million[19] to produce, has a book by Thomas Meehan,[20] adapted from Stallone's screenplay and is directed by Alex Timbers,[21] with choreography by Kelly Devine, boxing choreography by Steven Hoggett,[22] set design by Christopher Barreca,[23] costume design by David Zinn,[23] lighting design by Christopher Akerlind,[23] sound design by Peter Hylenski,[23] video design by Pablo N. Molina[23] and special effects by Jeremy Chernick.[23] A mostly original score has been penned, by Lynn Ahrens with music by Stephen Flaherty.[24]

The show's set, which for Broadway cost $4.3 million,[3] is set around a mostly bare stage which represents the Gym that Rocky trains in.[25] The production uses sliding box like sets to represent the homes of the characters[25] and the sliding element goes onto include a full sized regulation boxing ring.[26] Audience members seated within the front stalls Golden Circle seating section, are escorted onto the stage for the final 20 minutes to sit on bleacher style seats,[27] in doing so this allows the boxing ring to enter the auditorium[28] and sit in rows A-F,[27] bringing the audience close to the final fight scene.[28]

Production history[edit]

Hamburg (2012–)[edit]

Rocky the Musical received its world premiere on 18 November 2012, at the Operettenhaus, Hamburg.[29] The production opened to positive reviews[25] and title casting included Drew Sarich as Rocky Balboa,[30] Wietske van Tongeren playing Adrian Pennino[30] and Terence Archie playing Apollo Creed.[31] Having been written in English, the show was translated into German for its world premiere.[32][33]

Broadway (2014)[edit]

Andy Karl as Rocky Balboa.

On 28 April 2013, it was announced the show would transfer to Broadway in February 2014.[34] On 26 August, it was announced that the show would open on 13 March 2014, at the Winter Garden Theatre, with previews commencing on 11 February 2014.[35] The first preview was cancelled as a result of delayed technical rehearsals, due to power problems in the area.[36] Following a scheduled rehearsal day previews commenced on 13 February.[37] Tickets went on sale on 8 September 2013,[38] with title casting announced shortly after, with Andy Karl playing Rocky, Margo Seibert playing Adrian[39] and Terence Archie transferring from the Hamburg production, to reprise his role as Apollo Creed.[40] Rehearsals for the production began on 18 December 2013, nearly two months prior to opening.[33] The cast performed as part of the ceremony for the 68th Tony Awards in June 2014.[41] A typical Broadway performance runs 2hrs 30mins, including one intermission.[27] It was announced on 15 July 2014, that the show would close on 17 August 2014, after a run of 28 previews and 188 performances.[42]

Music[edit]

The show features 20 original songs,[43] with additional music taken from the original film series including "Eye of the Tiger" and "Gonna Fly Now".[44] The Broadway production of the musical uses a large twenty-member orchestra consisting of guitars, drums, bass, percussion, keyboards, reeds, flugelhorns, trumpets, trombone, bass trombone, violin, viola and cello.[45]

Musical numbers[edit]

Recordings[edit]

Rocky Broadway
Cast recording by Various
Released May 27, 2014 (2014-05-27)
Length 57:03
Label Universal Music Enterprises
No. Title Length
1. "Ain't Down Yet"   2:11
2. "My Nose Ain't Broken"   3:44
3. "Raining"   4:09
4. "Patriotic"   3:05
5. "My Nose Ain't Broken (Reprise)"   2:08
6. "The Flip Side"   3:18
7. "Adrian"   1:44
8. "Wanna Know Why"   1:40
9. "Gonna Fly Now (Variation)"   0:38
10. "Fight From the Heart"   2:53
11. "One of Us"   2:38
12. "Training Montage 1"   2:12
13. "In the Ring"   3:58
14. "Training Montage 2 (feat. Eye Of The Tiger)"   6:40
15. "Happiness"   2:50
16. "I'm Done"   2:01
17. "Southside Celebrity"   4:03
18. "Undefeated Man"   1:51
19. "Keep On Standing"   3:18
20. "The Fight: Round 15 (Gonna Fly Now)"   0:54
21. "Finale"   1:11

Principal roles and original cast[edit]

Character Original Hamburg Cast Original Broadway Cast[47]
Rocky Balboa Drew Sarich[30] Andy Karl
Adrian Pennino Wietske van Tongeren[30] Margo Seibert
Apollo Creed Terence Archie
Mickey Goldmill Dakin Matthews
Paulie Pennino Patrick Imhof[48] Danny Mastrogiorgio
Gloria Alex Avenell[48] Jennifer Mudge

Critical reception[edit]

The Hamburg production of Rocky the Musical received positive reviews from critics.[48][49][50][51][52]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2014 Tony Award
Best Actor in a Musical Andy Karl[53] Nominated
Best Choreography Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine[53] Nominated
Best Scenic Design Christopher Barreca[53] Won
Best Lighting Design Christopher Akerlind[53] Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical[54] Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Andy Karl[54] Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Alex Timbers[54] Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine[54] Nominated
Outstanding Set Design Christopher Barreca[54] Won
Outstanding Lighting Design Christopher Akerlind[54] Won
Outstanding Sound Design Peter Hylenski[54] Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Production of a Musical[55] Nominated
Distinguished Performance Award Margo Seibert[55] Nominated
Andy Karl[55] Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Broadway Musical[56] Nominated
Outstanding Book Of A Musical[56] Thomas Meehan Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Andy Karl[56] Nominated
Outstanding Direction of a Musical Alex Timbers[56] Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine[56] Nominated
Outstanding Set Design Christopher Barreca[56] Won

References[edit]

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External links[edit]