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Rocky - Broadway

A new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

The Evolution of Rocky! The Italian Stallion's Wild Ride From Screen to Stage, as Told By Sylvester Stallone

The Evolution of Rocky! The Italian Stallion's Wild Ride From Screen to Stage, as Told By Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone in 'Rocky' & Andy Karl in 'Rocky the Musical'
Follow Sylvester Stallone's journey from struggling actor to Hollywood superstar to Broadway scribe!

Get out that boom box, blast "Eye of the Tiger" and put on your boxing gloves, because the new musical Rocky opens on Broadway March 13! Directed by Alex Timbers and featuring music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Thomas Meehan and original Rocky star and screenwriter Sylvester Stallone, the new ringside extravaganza is based on the Oscar-winning film that started it all. Since 1976, Rocky has become an international sensation, grossing over $225 million worldwide and paving the way for five sequels and counting. But before the world caught Rocky fever, Sylvester Stallone was the only guy in the world who believed in the small-time boxer with big-time dreams. Read below to find out how a struggling actor convinced movie execs to produce his screenplay, and in 28 days with a budget of under $1 million, Rocky made history.

Stallone Was Dirt Poor
“On my 29th birthday, I had $106 in the bank. To cheer myself up, I took the last of my entertainment money and went to see the Ali-Wepner fight on closed circuit TV. Chuck Wepner, a battling, bruising club fighter who had never made the big time, was having his shot. It wasn't at all regarded as a serious battle. But as the fight progressed, this miracle unfolded. He hung in there. People went absolutely crazy. That night, Rocky Balboa was born.” —

He Wrote the Script in 72 Hours (By Hand)
“I wrote it in 3 1/2 days. I'd get up at 6 AM and write it by hand, with a Bic pen on lined notebook sheets of paper. Then my wife, Sasha, would type it. She kept saying, 'You've gotta do it, you've gotta do it. Push it, Sly, go for broke.’” — The New York Times

Movie Execs Didn’t Trust Him
“They put in all these clauses. ‘OK, we’ll give you a chance, but the movie’s gonna cost under a million dollars, you got 28 days to film it and if you do anything wrong, if you breathe wrong, if you smoke with the wrong hand, if you drop your fork when you’re eating, any excuse, we’re getting rid of you.’” — The Rocky Saga: Going the Distance

He Provided His Own Wardrobe
“I still have [the clothes] at home. We didn't have budget for wardrobe. I bought that coat when I was 19 and living in Philadelphia. I bought it at E. J. Korvette for like $32. It was half leather and half something from Korea.” — Shy magazine

Apollo Creed Was Almost Jamaican
“United Artists was worried about [Creed being too similar to Muhammad Ali], and before they'd accept the script, they asked me to rewrite the Creed part. I went home and did it overnight, and the next day, Apollo Creed came back as a Jamaican. As soon as they said, 'OK, it's a go,' I put the Jamaican back on the plane and brought back my real Apollo Creed." — Playboy

Sly Wouldn’t Let Anyone Else Play Rocky
“I told my wife that I'd rather bury [the script] in the backyard and let the caterpillars play Rocky. I would have hated myself for selling out, the way we hate most people for selling out. My wife agreed, and said she'd be willing to move to a trailer in the middle of a swamp if need be.” — The New York Times

Joe Frazier Auditioned For Creed
“He got in the ring with me and we started to move around, and truthfully in 11 seconds I had four stitches. A clash of heads—I went, 'This is not gonna work. I need someone not as proficient at smashing skulls.'” — The Rocky Saga: Going the Distance

Susan Sarandon Almost Played Adrian
“First it was Susan Sarandon, and then we thought, 'Well, maybe she’s too sexy,' at the time. And then it went to Cher. I thought that’d be kind of interesting. Then Bette Midler...” — The Rocky Saga: Going the Distance

Rocky Beat Taxi Driver at the Oscars
“At the Oscars, I didn't have a bow tie on. It had broken. Later I heard people thought I was disrespectful. I woulda tied a shoelace on—something—had I known.” — GQ

The World (Especially Philly) Went Crazy
"In Philadelphia, there’s no delineation, they address me as Rocky, for real. They’ll say things like: 'Rocky, do you like this coat?' Or: 'Rock, say hi to my sister.' Or: 'Yo Rock, I know a great restaurant.' There’s no Sylvester. Even the Mayor goes: 'It’s good to have Rocky here today.'" —

Charlie Chaplin & Elvis Sent Fan Mail
“Chaplin said, ‘Rocky reminds me of a little character I used to play. We'd love for you to come to Switzerland and visit.’ And you know what? I never went. A few months later, he was dead. Same thing with Elvis.” — GQ

Rocky Got Cocky
"I abused power. I was an authority on everything. If you had a disease to cure I’d tell you. If you wanted the history of movies I’d tell you. I became insufferable! I look at some of my interviews now and I wish I could go back and punch myself in the face. The press turned against me. " — An Evening with Sylvester Stallone

Rocky Flew to Deutschland
“I saw [Rocky das Musical] in Germany, which was amazing. I didn’t understand a word, and I’m getting all choked up. But I always thought that it would translate to a musical because it’s almost like West Side Story. It’s a love story, but it’s something a little bit bigger than that. The audience knows the story but they’ve never seen it laid out in such a romantic fashion.” — Stallone on the red carpet

Andy Karl Won Sly Over Immediately
“No matter how threatening [Andy 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. But a sensitive tough guy? Pretty rare.” — Rocky press video

Stallone Returned Home to NYC
"I was born nine blocks from [the Winter Garden Theatre]. It only took 67 years to get here, which shows you how Rocky moves slowly. But we got here. And what's more important is, this character, I had no idea when we wrote this how this would turn out and that [these actors] would bring these characters to life in a way that I could have never imagined. Yo, New York. I love you!" — First preview of Rocky on Broadway

...And Still Works Out to “Eye of the Tiger”
“I do every now and then, believe it or not. It does work. Even after 30 years it gets me going.” — TIME

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