Thursday, June 5, 2014

NYC Musicals: Rocky

On the Thusday we were in New York we planned to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neal Patrick Harris. It was the musical that hubs bought tickets for as soon as we knew we'd be in New York because we love NPH. Needless to say we were super excited to see that show. However, it wasn't until we were on our way to pick up our tickets from will call that we realized we'd made a terrible mistake. Apparently we put Hedwig on  the wrong day in our calendar and booked A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder for the same day. We completely missed Hedwig without even knowing it! We hurried over to the box office to see if there was anything we could do to get tickets, but they informed us that tickets were sold out over a month in advanced are escorted Heartbreaking to say the least.

We sadly walked toward Times Square where I proceeded to get separated from hubs in the hoards of people when he crossed a street before I was able to. Thank goodness for cell phones! After being reunited we made our way over to the TKS booth to see if there was anything we wanted to see. Hubs had been pointing out the Rocky billboards everywhere we went in New York but I was less than excited to see a musical based on a movie I'd never seen. But since hubs was so forlorn about messing up our Hedwig tickets I suggested we see Rocky in hopes of cheering him up. The musical is up for a few Tony awards including best actor in a musical and best scenic design so I figured it couldn't be so bad.

Since I haven't seen the movie I can't attest to how true the musical is to the movie, but hubs says that they did a pretty good job. To me the story seems pretty depressing up until the big fight at the end, but again apparently that's how it's supposed to be. The actor who played Rocky definitely had the Sylvester Stallone voice down, but strangely had a very distinct country twang whenever he sang. I honestly wasn't very impressed with the lyrics throughout the musical. For some reason they seemed forced. But maybe that's just what happens when you're trying turn a non-musical movie into a musical.

Even though I wasn't blown away by the story or lyrics of Rocky I'm glad we saw it for it's production value alone. If this play doesn't win best scenic design I will be shocked. The stage design of this show is absolutely incredible. From the little things like the rain that trickles down the windows in scenes where it's raining to the cameras they use to put up live images so it looks like we're really watching the news coverage of Rocky training for the big fight. But most impressive is the boxing ring that moves seemlessly around the stage throughout the show. In fact for the fight scene between Rocky and Apollo Creed a regulation sized boxing ring slides out into the audience and a jumbo tron drops from the ceiling just like you'd see at a real boxing match. The audience members sitting in the center of the first 10-15 rows are escorted on stage to sit in bleachers to watch the big fight. It really makes you feel like you've been transported into the movie. I can't imagine how they would possibly take such a large production on the road so if you liked the movie I'd reccomend seeing the musical in New York just for the sheer amazingness of the set.