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‘Rocky’ Knocks It Out On Broadway



Rocky on Broadway

Who could imagine “Rocky,” a gritty fight movie, as a Broadway musical? Well, apparently some serious investors thought it was an excellent idea, bankrolling the script by Thomas Meehan and Sylvester Stallone. The show is now playing on Broadway to big audiences and has been the surprise success of the season.

You wouldn’t think boxing and singing would go together very well, but here, it mysteriously works beautifully. You’ll come out of “Rocky: The Musical” feeling more uplifted than you ever thought possible. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to give “Rocky” a try, get your tickets and go. You’ll be glad you did.

You’ll Be Impressed by the Technology

More than $16 million was invested to make the sets resemble the movie as closely as possible. It’s surprisingly impressive, too. There is a full-sized boxing ring on the stage for the big fight scene, so the audience feels as if they are actually at a boxing match with ringside seats. The infamous training montage is also masterfully re-created here, with a giant wall showing the different areas where Rocky trains as he punches and runs his way along them, right up to his run up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, where 12 extras have been incorporated to run along with him. The movie has come to life, and it’s exciting.

The Play Keeps Things Moving

There are many standout moments in this show, not just the 2 big technological masterpieces. The opening number has guys boxing and singing at the same time and is choreographed to look more like dancing than fighting. It is very reminiscent of the Sharks and Jets dance scene from West Side Story, only grittier. The many mini-box sets set up intimate scenes like Rocky’s apartment, the changing room at the gym, the pet store where his love interest Adrian works, and the ice skating rink where Rocky takes Adrian on their first date. The sets are meticulously decorated to resemble the sets from the movie as closely as possible.

Character Development Through Music

In case the stunning sets made you forget this is a musical, the singing starts soon enough to remind you. While there are some big, splashy numbers, most of the character development between Rocky and Adrian is done through a series of slow-moving ballads. You can feel Rocky and Adrian’s love story developing into genuine romance through their songs.

The Fight!

While Rocky’s training and his romance with Adrian keep the audience’s attention superbly, everyone came to see the big fight between Rocky and reigning heavyweight champ Apollo Creed. As the big fight begins, audience members are escorted onto the stage and into riser seats around the boxing ring to become the fight’s audience in the play. Few (if any) Broadway shows actually bring a large part of their audiences up on stage and into the action like this one.

To make the transformation from theater to boxing arena even more complete, Jumbotron video screens are placed around the boxing ring to show the fight in close-up detail. It is a climactic moment in the play, just as it was in the movie. The production crew obviously put every scrap of talent they had into making this a memorable piece of theater. It works. Even though the fight scene itself is 20 minutes — really long for one scene in a play — the audience is so caught up in the action they don’t notice. “Rocky” is a surprise hit, just as Rocky himself was a surprise winner. If you see one new play on Broadway this season, make sure it’s “Rocky.” It is a sight to behold and something you’ll remember for a long time.

Zander Chance is a technology nut who is always first in line to try out the latest tech gadgets. He also has been an active affiliate marketer for the past 15 years, and he writes about his adventures in that on his blog.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Phil

    April 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    It’s been getting great reviews here in NYC so I must see it! Big Rocky fan!

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