Much like the pugilist champ at its center, Rocky is proving a power player on Broadway. Its numbers keep going up, and more and more people are becoming ringside fans of the Philly palooka Rocky Balboa (Andy Karl) and his shy, pet-store employee girlfriend-in-waiting Adrian (Margo Seibert) all over again, after the great successes of Sylvester Stallone and company in the Oscar-winning 1976 movie. (Stallone is a book writer on this show, and could very likely be a Tony nominee this coming Tuesday, along with several others involved.)
But the ringside mention earlier is nothing short of completely literal, as director Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and scenic designer Christopher Barreca devised a regulation-size boxing ring for the 15-minute, climactic bout between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed (Terence Archie), in which a sizable portion of the orchestra patrons are (quite ingeniously) repurposed so that the ring may become a four-sided, true-to-life event for the audience. What results is one of the most eye-popping bits of stagecraft ever created, with no shortage of fun details (check out all that blood!).
In the exclusive three-minute feature below, watch as director Timbers and his fearless cast and crew explain how they went about making what seemed impossible in concept to a fully-realized reality for 1,500 attendees per evening. (And they managed to do it with far less event than another recent mega-musical, as well.)
Rocky is now playing at the Winter Garden Theatre.