Remember last year, when it came to light that there would be a musical based on Rocky? Fast forward to now, and courtesy of the same lazer-focused German minds that brought you Mamma Mia! (fear them), Rocky das Musical is a stone hit over in Europe, and it now looks like the show could make its way to Broadway. But what is it like? It’s, uh, very German:
The set and lighting design are imaginatively low key: The bare stage at the Operettenhaus Theater here becomes a grimy, cavernous gym; rectangular, boxlike settings for the working-class homes of Rocky and his girlfriend, Adrian, slide on and off stage; and a regulation-size boxing ring appears for Rocky’s climactic fight against Apollo Creed, which includes a startling coup de théâtre.
To which we say: Look, if going through this life as a Philadelphian means having to deal with Rocky as a joke told once and then repeated endlessly, at least it feels like these people are laughing with us.
Also, to every local theater nerd who mounted a Fringe Festival show over the last 15 years or so: You failed, ’cause it wasn’t this. Thanks for nothing.