So, it sounds like Rocky The Musical is going to be pretty darn great, if the critics are anything to go by, anyway. The musical has been written by the original Rocky, Sylvester Stallone, and is based on the 1976 movie of the same name (obviously without ‘The Musical’ tagged on to the end).

sly stallone rocky the musicalSly Stallone at the opening night of Rocky The Musical on Broadway

The basic plot of the musical is the same of that in the original Oscar-winning movie. Set in Philadelphia it tells the story of Rocky Balboa, an amateur boxer who gets the once in a lifetime opportunity to compete for the title of heavyweight champion of the world. There’s also a bit of a love story thrown in, you know, to keep everyone happy.

The musical received generally favourable reviews when it was first premiered in 2012 in Hamberg, Germany, although the music hasn’t been praised as much as the other elements. The Hollywood Reporter described the music as “inessential” and “non-descript”, which we just can’t see considering the soundtrack includes Eye of the Tiger and Bill Conti’s Theme from Rocky, which both have a track record of getting anyone pumped up.

Steven Flaherty was tasked with writing the new songs which apparently “merely shadowbox at melody and never land the pop-rock punch they often seem to be seeking”, according to Entertainment Weekly’s Thom Geier. These things sometimes take time and musicals often go through lots of edits before they finally are considered truly finished, so we’re not completely discounting the score just yet!

The backstage crew have been given kudos for set design and lighting design, while the choreography provided by Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine has been praised. Although Geier wasn’t impressed with the score, he has labeled the whole musical “a technical knockout” on the whole. While the musical has been described as “a brilliant piece of staging” by Variety magazine, it is supposedly the final scene which really steals the show.

rocky the musicalThe final fight takes place between Rocky and reigning champ, Apollo Creed

The finale fight, which sees Rocky battle the reigning world champion, is described by Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney as “so visceral and exhilarating that it sends the audience out on a high”, adding “Any grumblings about the musical’s shortcomings give way to open-mouthed wonder in its spectacular final 20 minutes”. Well, that’s a rave review if ever we heard one! Although if we were reviewing a musical written by Sly Stallone we’d probably be complimentary about it too, he’s pretty hard. Just kidding! From the sounds of things Rocky The Musical will be a smash hit and we can’t wait to see it. 

Watch Sylvester Stallone in the trailer for Grudge Match: