On Monday, March 10th, Rocky Director John G. Avildsen received the City of Philadelphia Special Citation in celebration of the release of “The Rocky Heavyweight Collection” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Here are a few snapshots — including the Director of Rocky and the President of the Art Museum doing the Rocky Pose on the Art Museum Steps. Unprecedented!
EXTRA READING: The People Want Rocky: Why Did it Take the Art Museum and the City’s Tourism Folks So Long to Understand That?
Dan McQuade, God bless you. Your immortal post on Rocky’s run through the streets of Philadelphia has finally shaken the marble pillars that keep the city’s art elite and tourism snobs high above us all and removed from reality. And the reality is that Philadelphia is Rocky and Rocky is Philadelphia.
In case you missed it, Dan’s post on how far Rocky’s run to the Art Museum steps equaled in real miles was shared and spread around the world. The overwhelming response was only eye-opening to those who have been trying so long to ignore the allure of the movie legend.
And now, with Dan’s post and the Rocky musical opening, the city’s upper crust can’t ignore it anymore.
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The Rocky Broadway musical opened on Thursday night, and the reviews are in. I saw the very first preview of the show back in February, and I saw Rocky again on Wednesday with my mom. Mom’s Rocky review: “I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it.” Not all the critics feel the same way. Read more »
The success of Rocky isn’t just due to Sylvester Stallone.
Sure, he wrote the scripts and starred in the films — and the character’s enduring popularity was due to the sequels, most of which he directed. But the first film was helmed by John G. Avildsen, who won the Oscar for Best Director for his efforts. It was Avildsen’s skillful direction — and his selection of Bill Conti for the score — that set the tone for the character.
“We thought it was going to be the bottom half of a double bill in a drive-in in Arkansas,” Avildsen said earlier this week, in town for a screening of Rocky at the art museum. “We had no expectations for it.” All six Rocky Balboa movies have been released in a Blu-ray set for MGM’s 90th Anniversary. The original movie has been restored. “I see stuff I never saw in the original movie,” Avildsen said. “Snowflakes, and breath.” The set also includes 8mm “home movies” of Rocky that Avildsen shot while making the film.
I chatted with him while he was in town about the movie and its legacy.
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On Thursday, February 13th, the new musical version of Rocky premiered on Broadway in New York City, and some 1,500 effusively enthused Rocky fans–including Sylvester Stallone, Tom Hanks, and Paul Rudd–braved the cold, slushy mess that was Manhattan to see it. I was one of them. Read more »
Hundreds of people were scheduled to see the very first preview of Rocky the musical at New York’s Winter Garden Theater on Tuesday night, but the preview has been canceled.
Ticket holders received the following message on Tuesday morning:
“The production has just informed us that tonight’s performance has been canceled, due to electrical issues caused by melting ice and salt on the street.”
The next date on the schedule is this Thursday. And with the weather prediction for the middle of the week looking the way it does, fingers crossed.
Previews for Rocky on Broadway start next week in New York City, and in honor of the occasion, Robert De Niro, Kevin Hart, Stephen Colbert got together to sing the Rocky theme. Read more »
Photograph by Steven Laxton
Andy Karl knows what you’re thinking. He had the same reservations before agreeing to play Rocky Balboa. How do you turn that film—“Yo Adrian!” and Art Museum steps and all—into a Broadway musical? Stick to the script. “He loses at the end, but his loss is his win,” says Karl, sipping water at a dim midtown Manhattan hotel bar. “He goes the distance; he’s found love. Love is a huge part of what musicals are about. When you think of it, Rocky is all about finding love, finding dignity.” The fights? Merely bookends of the show. But, he adds, “They’re spectacular.”
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Forgive the self-promotion–it was a Putiltzer-worthy Philly Mag post that inspired this event–but here is an important public service announcement: The date for next year’s “Rocky 50k Fat Ass Run” has been set for December 6th, 2014. (Photos from this year’s run.) From Rocky50k.com:
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