Rocky musical ‘knocks out’ critics in Hamburg

THINK of Sylvester Stallone and musicals aren’t the first thing you think of, explosions yes, punches yes, but musical numbers and dancing?

Report by AFP

Similarly the Klitschko brothers are more known for their jabs and upper-cuts than their note perfect choruses. However the trio has teamed up to turn Stallone’s hit movie Rocky into a musical which has premiered in Germany.

Vladimir Klitschko, the undisputed world heavyweight champion, and Stallone, who wrote the screenplay and starred in the 1976 hit movie, both lent their support to the staging.

“Rocky is not about boxing, it’s about the longing for dignity and the desire to be happy,” said the 66-year-old Stallone.

“I’m so happy. It’s amazing that the Klitschkos are here and they’re giving birth to something that is first on the planet. I’m proud of you guys. I’m proud of Hamburg. Thank you!”

The original cult Rocky movie won three Oscars in 1976, for best picture, best director and best film editing, while Stallone played the lead role in a total of six Rocky films.

Around US$19 million have been invested in the stage adaptation with the audience ringside for the final scene to capture the atmosphere of a world title fight.

“The fans are sure to be thrilled,” said Hamburg-based Vladimir Klitschko, a co-producer along with brother Vitali, the WBC heavyweight champion.

Said Vladimir Klitschko: “Sylvester Stallone is the Pope of Rocky. Without Sylvester, nothing happens. He’s given birth to the idea and we’ve had lots of fun during our cooperation. We’re very convinced it will be successful.”

Rocky: Das Musical was originally written in English, but translated into German for its world premiere. The musical sticks closely to the original story charting the rise and romance of amateur boxer Rocky Balboa.

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