Rocky wins on points

Margo Seibert (Adrian), Andy Karl (Rocky) on Broadway.
Margo Seibert (Adrian), Andy Karl (Rocky) on Broadway.
Posted: March 17, 2014

ON THE judges' scorecards, "Rocky" gets the nod on points.

Critics around the country have weighed in on the Broadway musical that debuted Thursday at New York's Winter Garden Theatre. The theatrical rendition of the beloved film about the Philly-bred palooka who wasn't given a puncher's chance - in boxing or in life - generally impressed the tastemakers.

By and large, the show received positive reviews, but much of the praise was heaped on the 16-minute finale, which stages the fight between underdog Rocky Balboa and reigning champ Apollo Creed.

Typical of the reviews was the New York Post's Elizabeth Vincentelli, who wrote: "If you could win a Tony based on just 20 minutes, 'Rocky' would be a shoo-in. Problem is, that finale is preceded by an hour and a half of less-thrilling moments."

Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal was impressed throughout the show: "The stage version, directed with immense panache and soaring physicality by Alex Timbers ('Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson'), is very nearly as good [as the movie], an unpretentious slice of honest entertainment whose rock-'em-sock-'em finale will set the snobbiest of theatergoers to cheering in spite of themselves."

Of course, when it comes to Broadway, the vote that really matters is that of the New York Times. Ben Brantley, unfortunately for those involved in the production, used their efforts as a punching bag:

"The official curtain time for 'Rocky' . . . is 8 on most nights. But at the risk of promoting tardiness among theatergoers, I feel obliged to point out that the show doesn't really get started until 10:10 or thereabouts.

"That's when a production that has seemed to be down for the count since the opening bars of its overture suddenly acquires a pulse. And the audience wakes out of a couch potato stupor - the kind you experience when you have the television tuned to an infomercial station - to the startling tingle of adrenaline in its blood. Of course, by that point, it's all over but the fighting."


If you missed the People Paper's review Friday, go here.

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