Cast of Rocky On Broadway Performing on Atlantic City Boardwalk

A new entertainment series, Broadway on the Boardwalk, kicked off in Atlantic City this week. The free show, taking place every Monday in July, brings actors from current Broadway shows to perform on the Kennedy Plaza section of AC’s Boardwalk. This week’s first go-round featured singers from Cabaret, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Motown: The Musical. Photos below:



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Is Frank Gehry Really “Apollo Creed-Level Bad for Philadelphia”?

Art Museum and expansion, seen in section. (Philadelphia Museum of Art/Gehry Partners)

In a City Lab piece titled “Philly: Let’s Talk About Frank Gehry,” Kriston Capps writes that Gehry “might be Apollo Creed-level bad for Philadelphia.” Them’s fighting words. Literally.

Capps’ commentary coincides with today’s opening of Gehry’s exhibit at the Art Museum that shows the architect’s plans for his expansion (renderings below), which includes a reworking of the famous “Rocky” steps. So far, the reaction to the expansion has been muted; if anything, it seems to be a relief that we won’t be getting some kind of crazy glass octagonal, pyramidal, Pythagorean, cut-glass, sharp-edged bean pod. Gehry’s interior changes sound — from Inga Saffron’s review of the plans — like they’ll make navigation of the museum and access to the artwork better.

In fact, Capps agrees that even Gehry haters “may find plenty to admire in his plans for the Art Museum. Frankly, it’s not very Gehry.”

So it’s not the architecture per se that engenders this comparison to Apollo Creed. It’s the role Gehry has been chosen to play within what Capps sees as a problematic context. He writes: “Cultural expansions aren’t necessarily a great investment for a city in 2014, and this one almost certainly isn’t.”

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PHOTOS: Director and COO of Art Museum Does Rocky Pose on Art Museum Steps

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?

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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Director John G. Avildsen Told Stallone to Lose Weight Before Filming Rocky

rocky

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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Rocky Broadway Review: Rocky Wins

rocky-broadway-musical-review-marquee

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 »

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