Rocky Now Available for Licensing

Rocky Now Available for Licensing

MTI is pleased to announce worldwide licensing rights to the hit musical Rocky.

Rocky features music and lyrics by Tony® winners and Academy Award® nominees Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and a book by multiple-Tony winner Thomas Meehan and Sylvester Stallone, adapted from the acclaimed Oscar®-nominated screenplay by Stallone.  The show had its world premiere in Hamburg in 2012 and opened on Broadway in 2014. The musical follows the plot of the Academy Award-winning Best Picture classic, Rocky.

Rocky brings to life the story of Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, who is unexpectedly chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, when the undefeated fighter's scheduled opponent is injured. While training with Mickey, an embittered former boxer and owner of a local gym, Rocky tentatively begins a relationship with Adrian, the wallflower sister of his meat-packer pal Paulie. They establish a touching rapport and bring out the best in each other as their relationship grows.

Ahrens and Flaherty provide a beautiful and energized score, including two moving duets for Rocky and Adrian, while Stallone and Meehan’s book explores the depth, complexity and humor of their relationship.

“Everyone has a preconceived notion of Rocky, whether from the award-winning original film, or its many sequels,” stated Drew Cohen, MTI’s President and CEO.  “In fact, this American story is so iconic, people smile at the thought of a stage musical. But Ahrens & Flaherty, Meehan and Stallone have created a work that hearkens back to the spirit and humor of the original independent film, with two of the most lovable and enduring characters ever created. In an America of haves and have-nots, Rocky resonates now more than ever.  Since its Broadway run ended, we have received numerous requests from groups of all sizes who are excited by the audience-pleasing nature of the show."

Rocky crept up and stole our hearts. Watching audiences lean forward, stand, cry and cheer for joy every night was one of the most beautiful experiences we’ve ever had in the theater. You can’t believe it until you experience it--there’s an innate magic to this story,” said Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.  

Rocky’s first post-Broadway premiere was to have taken place at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre for the 2020-21 season. But due to COVID-19, Walnut moved Rocky to start next year’s season in September 2022. This change in schedule allowed Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, PA the opportunity to present the show. The theater program at Harry S. Truman was the subject of a book written by former Philadelphia journalist Michael Sokolove. Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town and the Magic of Theater, and inspiredan NBC television series, Rise, which ran for one season in 2018. Truman also worked with MTI to produce the first U.S. high school productions of Les MisérablesRentHoneymoon in VegasSpring Awakening, and Kinky Boots

Harry S. Truman’s production took place on March 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Tracey Gatte, the show’s director, and a teacher at Truman was grateful for the opportunity. “The Philly aspect was a major reason for producing this show, but the underdog story and using athletics as the focus in a theatrical production were what sold me,” remarked Gatte. “Truman has always had athletes in our shows but to truly have a piece that highlights their dedication was a perk! The students loved working on and preparing something that literally hits close to home.  This shows allows so many students to be involved and highlight their skills. Our AV classes supplied students to be the “crew” who filmed the fight. Our football, soccer and baseball players were the boxers and some speaking/singing parts. Our dancers were all cheerleaders and track team members. This was a whole school event with our marketing class working on the posters and logos. Our local boxing gym sent us a trainer to help with all of the boxing so the boys had to act, sing, dance and box. I recommend this show for anyone who wants to build their program with a “known” story that will attract a wide variety of students.”

And Walnut Street is happy for the show’s success in the high school market and they are looking forward to their world-premiere professional production this fall. 

“We were thrilled to hear of Truman’s wonderful production,” said Bernard Havard, the Walnut’s President and Producing Artistic Director. “It’s fantastic that our community will get to tell and experience this classic story as a live musical, both in educational and professional levels, this year. Our audiences have been eagerly anticipating Rocky, and we cannot wait to bring this exhilarating tale of love and grit to the Walnut mainstage this fall.”

The Walnut’s production of Rocky will be helmed by award-winning director and choreographer, Richard Stafford. Stafford, who has directed many iconic musicals at the Walnut, will lead a wealth of local Philadelphian talent in both the creative team and cast. Tickets are now on sale as part of a subscription package for the Walnut’s next season. More information about the production will be announced in the coming months here.

For more information about MTI and licensing, please visit International restrictions may apply (currently unavailable in the UK and Europe). 

Photo credit: Alex Kelly and Lee MacDougall in Rocky: The Musical, Drayton Entertainment, 2019 Season. Director: Alex Mustakas, Choreographer: Phil Nero, Music Director: Steve Thomas, Set Designer: Brian Dudkiewicz, Costume Designer: Adrienne Pink, Lighting Designer: Kevin Fraser, Fight Director: JoeBostick. Photographer: Hilary Gauld Camilleri.

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