Broadway favorite Andy Karl is already a champ! Sylvester Stallone thinks that Karl, who will take on the role of Rocky Balboa in the forthcoming Rocky musical “has what it takes," according to a report in the Associated Press. Directed by Alex Timbers, the new musical will begin performances February 11, 2014, with an official opening night set for March 13 at the Winter Garden Theatre.
Stallone says with Karl, "there’s no arrogance, there’s a natural humility about him, and that’s what is important.” He admitted that the creative team went “through literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of prospects.” However, "Andy was one of our first choices and he just had it." Stallone believes that no matter how threatening Karl may look “you’re going to like him, it just comes through. And that’s not so easy to find. Tough guys are a dime a dozen; a sensitive tough guy, pretty rare.”
Karl, who is currently starring in Jersey Boys, has also appeared on Broadway in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde, Wicked and Saturday Night Fever.
Rocky features a score by Tony-winning songwriting team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and a book by Tony winner Thomas Meehan and Sylvester Stallone, who was nominated for an Oscar for the 1976 film’s screenplay. Rocky tells the story of a struggling, small-time Philadelphia boxer who gets a once-in-a-lifetime shot to go the distance against heavyweight champ Apollo Creed. The musical originally premiered in Hamburg, Germany, in 2012, starring Drew Sarich in the title role.