Rocky arrived in New York this past winter following a 2012 German-language production, which continues to run in Hamburg. The Broadway production, which received a mixed critical response, officially opened March 13 after previews that began Feb. 13. Read the reviews here.
Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher, Here Lies Love) directed the elaborate production that features a Tony Award-winning set by Chris Barreca. The expansive production incorporates an actual boxing ring that descends onto the stage and slides out over the orchestra seating of the Winter Garden for the musical's final scene.
Audience members seated in the orchestra section are asked to file onto the stage to serve as spectactors for the match, while remaining theatregoers are encouraged to stand and cheer on Rocky and Apollo Creed as they battle in real-time. The intricate fight choreography is staged by Tony Award nominee Steven Hoggett (Once) and Kelly Devine (Rock of Ages).
The Broadway production played 28 previews and 188 regular performances. Original "Rocky" creator/star Stallone produced the stage production along with Stage Entertainment. The musical, which never fully ingnited at the box office, was capitalized at a reported $15 million. Representatives for the production state that producers are exploring possible tours, sit-down productions and international stagings of the musical.
In addition for its win for scenic design, Rocky received Tony Award nominations for Lighting Design of a Musical and Scenic Design of a Musical as well as a Best Actor nomination for leading man Andy Karl, who stars in the title role.
Terence Archie (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity), who originated the role of heavyweight champ Apollo Creed in the Hamburg world premiere of Rocky, repeats his work in the Broadway production. Rocky also features Dakin Matthews (A Man for All Seasons) as Rocky's trainer, Mickey, Danny Mastrogiorgio (Lucky Guy, Golden Boy) as Adrian's brother, Paulie, and Jennifer Mudge (The Philanthropist) as Gloria.
Completing the cast are Adrian Aguilar, Eric Anderson, Michelle Aravena, James Brown III, Sam J. Cahn, Vincent Corazza, Kevin Del Aguila, Ned Eisenberg, Bradley Gibson, Stacey Todd Holt, Sasha Hutchings, David Andrew Macdonald, Vasthy Mompoint, Vince Oddo, Okieriete Onaodowan, Adam Perry, Kristin Piro, Luis Salgado, John Schiappa, Samantha Shafer, Wallace Smith, Jenny Lee Stern, Dan’yelle Williamson and Mark Zimmerman.
Here's how it's billed: "Rocky brings to life the iconic and inspiring story of struggling small time Philly boxer, Rocky Balboa, who gets a once-in-a-lifetime shot to go the distance against heavyweight champ Apollo Creed. Both an adrenaline-infused spectacle and a surprising story of blossoming romance between two lonely outsiders, Rocky is a heart-stopping and viscerally theatrical new musical for everyone brave enough to follow their dream."
Rocky has set design by Chris Barreca, costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Peter Hylenski, orchestrations by Doug Besterman and Stephen Trask, with music supervision by David Holcenberg.
Here's a look at the show: