(The Hollywood Reporter)- Rocky Balboa is poised to enter a whole new ring, when the musical adaptation of the Oscar-winning Sylvester Stallone vehicle comes to Broadway early next year.
The stage incarnation of Rocky brings together Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan (The Producers, Hairspray) with composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens, whose many collaborations include the musical Ragtime.
Directing the production is Alex Timbers, currently represented in New York with the David Byrne-Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love and the musical-play hybrid Peter and the Starcatcher. Fight choreography is by Steven Hoggett (Once), with dance choreography by Kelly Devine (Rock of Ages).
“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, who penned the screenplay of the beloved 1976 feature that spawned four sequels.
“The story of Rocky was very much like my life at the time – starting out with nothing, having to fight for roles and recognition," continued Stallone. "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, heart-breaking, and inspiring as it was when Rocky first went the distance onscreen."
Presented by Stage Entertainment USA and Stallone, the production received its world premiere last fall in Hamburg, Germany, where it opened to rave reviews and continues playing to packed houses.
Rocky will begin previews in February at the Winter Garden Theatre, with an official opening in March. Exact dates and cast have not yet been announced. One of Broadway's larger venues, with a seating capacity of close to 1,500, the Winter Garden has long been occupied by the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!, which moves to the smaller Broadhurst Theatre later this year.