Yo, the Italian Stallion is coming to Broadway and Andy Karl will play the struggling Philly boxer-with-heart in the upcoming musical, “Rocky,” producers announced on Monday. Margo Seibert will play opposite Karl as Rocky’s girlfriend, Adrian.
The production will open at the Winter Garden Theatre in March 2014.
Sylvester Stallone, who played the title character Rocky Balboa in the 1976 film -- which he also wrote, earning a screenplay Oscar nomination -- will produce the new production in conjunction with Stage Entertainment. Stallone also co-wrote the book of the musical with Tony winner Thomas Meehan (“Annie,” “Hairspray”). The score is by Tony-winning songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime”). Alex Timbers (“Peter and the Starcatcher”) will direct.
Karl is no stranger to the Broadway stage. He has appeared in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” “9 to 5” and “Wicked,” among other productions. He currently plays Tommy Devito in the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys.”
This will be Seibert's Broadway debut but she has done quite a bit of regional theater and this fall will star in the Prospect Theatre Company’s off-Broadway musical “Tamar of the River.”
"I couldn't be more proud or more excited about this production and how my original story of Rocky Balboa has been brought to spectacular life onstage," Stallone said in a statement, according to Playbill.com. "The story of Rocky was very much like my life at the time -- starting out with nothing, having to fight for roles and recognition. So I put those feelings into the body of a boxer and I had no idea there were so many millions of people that felt the same way."
“Rocky” had its world premiere last fall in Hamburg, Germany -- in German.
Opening night at the Winter Garden Theatre is planned for March 13, 2014; previews begin Feb. 11.