It is one of the most iconic moments in cinema -- a fanfare of trumpets slowly building as Rocky runs up the steep stairs in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, jabbing and punching the air before lifting his arms in victory.
Now Sylvester Stallone's fictional boxer is fighting his way out of the 1976 film and headlining in a most unexpected venue; Broadway. The musical-theater adaptation of Rocky is currently in previews at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City.
Fans of the heavyweight champion expecting to see Sylvester Stallone singing and dancing onstage may disappointed. Rocky will be played by theater veteran Andy Karl who’s appeared in a long list of Broadway hits like Jersey Boys, Wicked, 9 to 5: The Musical, and Legally Blonde.
Karl says that he personally identifies with Rocky as a small-time, not well-known boxer fighting for his shot at a world heavyweight title. “I have had some great success in theater playing a lot of character roles,” says Karl, “but now I’m sort of thrust into the lead of the show.”
Karl is confident he’s the man to bring Rocky to life on the stage, “It’s definitely a big iconic role to take on,” says Karl, but “my whole journey has been to get here.”