It’s official: As previously speculated, Rocky, the musical version of Sylvester Stallone’s blockbuster boxing movie, is coming to Broadway in 2014. The new musical will begin preview performances in February and officially opening in March of next year at the Winter Garden Theatre.
Rocky brings to life the 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. The show, starring Drew Sarich in the title role, received its world premiere in fall 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, where it continues to play.
The musical, directed by Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher), features an original score by the Tony-winning songwriting team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens ( Ragtime, Once on This Island, Anastasia) and a book by Tony winner Thomas Meehan (The Producers, Hairspray, Annie) and Sylvester Stallone, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 1976 Oscar-winning Best Picture, Rocky.
“I couldn’t be more proud or more excited about this production and how my original story of Rocky Balboa has been brought to spectacular life onstage,” said Stallone in a statement. “The story of Rocky was very much like my life at the time—starting out with nothing, having to fight for roles and recognition. So I put those feelings into the body of a boxer and I had no idea there were so many millions of people that felt the same way. Alex Timbers and the entire creative team have not only honored that original impulse, but have made his story as exciting, heartbreaking, and inspiring as it was when Rocky first went the distance on screen.”
In addition to Timbers, the creative team includes choreography by Kelly Devine (Rock of Ages) and fight choreography by Steven Hoggett (Once).
The Winter Garden Theatre’s current tenant, Mamma Mia!, will move to the Broadhurst Theatre in late 2013.
Get a first look at the new musical below.