PHOTO CALL: Rocky Musical, Starring Andy Karl as Rocky Balboa, Opens on Broadway; Red Carpet Arrivals, Curtain Call and Cast Party
By Matthew Blank
A new musical based on the Academy Award-winning 1976 Sylvester Stallone film "Rocky," about an underdog fighter who rises to greatness, officially opened on Broadway March 13 at the Winter Garden Theatre. It features a score by Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
"Rocky" creator/star Stallone produces the stage production along with Stage Entertainment. The musical adaptation arrives on Broadway following a 2012 German-language premiere in Hamburg, where it continues its run.
Featuring a score by Ragtime Tony Award winners Ahrens (lyrics) and Flaherty (music), Rocky has a book by Tony Award winner Thomas Meehan (Annie, Hairspray). Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher, Here Lies Love) directs the production that began previews Feb. 13.
Andy Karl (Legally Blonde, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) stars as boxer Rocky Balboa opposite Margo Seibert (Tamar of the River) as Adrian.
"This show is the most physical I've ever done, as far as what an actor has to go through emotionally, mentally and physically," Karl said in an interview. "I'm trying to stand up to the challenge of creating a character while punches are being thrown in my face. And some of them make contact."
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, and Danny Mastrogiorgio (Lucky Guy, Golden Boy) as Adrian's brother, Paulie.
Completing the cast are Jennifer Mudge (The Philanthropist) as Gloria, with ensemble members Adrian Alfredo 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.
The production has choreography by 2012 Once Tony Award nominee Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine (Rock of Ages).
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