“Rocky” The Musical Is in the Works

By Beth Stebner
|  Thursday, Jun 2, 2011  |  Updated 3:16 AM PDT
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Columbia Pictures

Philadelphia has the movie hero of Rocky Balboa.

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First, it was “Anna Nicole" the opera. Next in line was “Sister Act.” The unlikely musical adaptation of “Rocky” was never far off in the works.

The New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog reports that star and screenwriter Sylvester Stallone, in collaboration with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (who won a Tony for their collaborative songwriting efforts in “Ragtime”) and book writer Thomas Meechan are all well into adapting the 1976 Oscar-winner into a stage musical.

According to ArtsBeat, the project started eight years ago when Stallone called Meechan, saying he wanted to make a musical. Though there were initial doubts about making a musical where a pirouetting Rocky sings and dances, after a reading, people were pleased and the work continued.

“It’s less about boxing than about finding self-respect and finding your soul mate,” Meechan said of the story of the boxer who overcomes all odds.

The cast will be relatively small, with about five main characters and a small orchestra.

No word yet how they’ll recreate the famous training montage on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Selected Reading: ArtsBeat, IMDb, NBC

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