Music Theatre International Acquires Worldwide Licensing Rights to Rocky Musical | Playbill

Industry News Music Theatre International Acquires Worldwide Licensing Rights to Rocky Musical The Ahrens and Flaherty musical, based on the hit 1976 film and featuring a book co-written by Sylvester Stallone, played Broadway in 2014.

Musical licensor Music Theatre International (MTI) has acquired worldwide licensing rights to the musical adaptation of Rocky. Based on the 1976 film of the same name written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, the show features a score by Ragtime and Once On This Island writers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and a book by Stallone and Thomas Meehan (Annie, Hairspray).

The musical centers on small-time boxer Rocky Balboa and his once-in-a-lifetime chance to contend for the heavyweight boxing title against reigning champion Apollo Creed, in addition to a chance at love with a shy young woman. The score includes such songs as "My Nose Ain't Broken," "Raining," and "Keep On Standing."

Rocky crept up and stole our hearts," says Ahrens and Flaherty. "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."

Though written in English, the musical was translated into German for its 2012 world premiere production in Hamburg starring Drew Sarich in the title role. Rocky made its Broadway premiere in 2014, with Andy Karl (Pretty Woman) in the titular role and earning a Tony nomination for his performance. Chris Barecca won a Tony Award for his scenic design, which featured a giant boxing ring that extended out into the center of the audience section for the show's climax, transforming the Winter Garden Theatre into a boxing arena. Today's announcement coincides with the five year anniversary of the work's Broadway debut.

"Everyone has a preconceived notion of Rocky, whether from the award-winning original film or its many sequels," shares MTI President and CEO Drew Cohen. "In fact, this American story is so iconic, people smile at the thought of a stage musical. But Meehan, Stallone, Flaherty and Ahrens 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 been inundated with requests from groups of all sizes who are excited by the audience-pleasing nature of the show."

For more information about licensing Rocky, visit

Look Back at Rocky on Broadway

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