Sylvester Stallone is doing his very best to keep the Rocky Balboa franchise alive. After five sequels, a novelization, and several video games, Sly has taken his sleeper hit to the stage, recruiting Tony Award-winning song writing team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty to produce what every boxing fan and show tune devotee have been waiting for -- "Rocky: The Musical."
The epic stage adaption premiered in Hamburg, Germany to enthusiastic audiences and critics who were taken with the singing version of the Italian Stallion. Now the musical is attempting to bring the boxing song-and-dance to Broadway, reports The New York Times.
“We know New York right now is one step higher artistically and commercially than Europe,” said Joop van den Ende, the founder and owner of Stage Entertainment, the company behind "Rocky: The Musical," to the New York Times. “There is much work to do to make ‘Rocky’ better and better. But people in New York will be pleasantly surprised by what we have.”
The musical, directed by Alex Timbers, is certainly different than the 1976 classic; Stallone will not be reprising the role of Balboa. Instead, the actor and singer Drew Sarich has taken up the character, depicting a Rocky that he describes as “a Rottweiler puppy who hasn’t grown into his paws.”
But that doesn't mean that Stallone isn't invested in the success of his unlikely musical, which German publication Der Speigel awarded a "points victory".
"Sylvester Stallone is the Pope of Rocky," said Champion boxer Vitali Klitschko, who worked on Stallone's adaptation, to reporters in Hamburg. "Without Sylvester, nothing happens. He's given birth to the idea and we've had lots of fun during our cooperation. We're very convinced it will be successful."
What do you think, readers? Will Rocky be another success?