BroadwayWorld.com has learned that a new developmental lab of the in-the-works Rocky musical is taking place this week in New York City for the show's creative teaM. Starring in the lab are Andy Karl as Rocky, Glenn Flesher as Pauly and Tricia Paoluccio as Adrienne. The show is currently rehearsing in a large Brooklyn warehouse due to the weight and size of a boxing ring that will appear in the show.
As previously reported, a musical version of Rocky is deep in development and is planned to have an eye for Broadway in the near future. It's first expected however for the musical to premiere in Germany. Speculation began publicly when Rocky star Sylvester Stallone made a surprise appearance on the red carpet at the opening night of Sister Act in April. He soon thereafter went on The View to explain that his rare cameo on Broadway was a precursur to what he hoped would be a more involved stay with a Rocky Musical on Broadway. A musical based on the famous film has been in development for nearly 8 years.
The 2007 version of the hit 1976 film Rocky - the tale of the prize boxer epitomized by Sylvester Stallone - featured a book by Tony Award-winner Thomas Meehan and songs by Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (composer) - the creators of Ragtime, The Glorious Ones, and Once on This Island. Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Assassins) was on board to direct the project.
In June, the New York Times reported that a reading of the latest version of the show had a reading in New York City in April. The hope is to mount a production in Germany in 2012 prior to a Broadway run in 2013.
Says Meehan of the project: "It's been a long gestation period, but it's come to be a work that we're really proud of. There was some worry early on - could we really make a musical out of a boxing picture? Could you make Rocky sing and dance? But when we did the reading, people were very impressed, and we're going forward."
To read the full report in the New York Times, click here.
Rocky won the 1977 Oscar for Best Picture. John G. Avildsen won for Best Director. The film also garnered awards for Best Film Editing and was nominated for Best Original Song, Best Original Screenplay and Best Sound. Stallone and Talia Shire were nominated as lead actors; Burt Young and Burgess Meredith were nominated for their supporting roles.
Rocky tells "the rags-to-riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but good-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia. Balboa is also a club fighter who gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship when the scheduled contender breaks his hand." The original Rocky film sparked five sequels.