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'Rocky' musical on Broadway to close in August

Musical TheaterBroadway TheaterMoviesRocky (movie)Sylvester StalloneWinter GardenTony Awards
'Rocky' musical on Broadway to close in August, five months after opening

It wasn't exactly the box-office knockout that producers were hoping for.

"Rocky," the high-profile Broadway musical based on the 1976 Sylvester Stallone movie, will close its doors on Aug. 17 at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York. The show, starring Andy Karl as Rocky Balboa, opened March 13 and will have played 188 regular performances by the time it ends its run.

A representative for the musical said in an e-mail that "Rocky" hasn't recouped its costs, citing a capitalization of $16.5 million. The show has seen its box-office numbers decline since the Tony Awards, where it took home one award, for scenic design.

"Rocky" was adapted from the movie by Stallone, who is one of the musical's producers, and Tony-winner Thomas Meehan. It features songs by Tony winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. One of the show's most-talked about achievements was a set that included a rotating boxing ring, which allowed audiences to experience the fight scenes from different vantage points. 

The musical represented an attempt by its producers to lure male audiences into the theater. Broadway audiences were 68% female in the 2012-13 season, according to a report from the Broadway League, a nonprofit industry group.  

On Broadway, sports-themed shows have usually had a difficult time connecting with audiences. Productions including "Magic/Bird" and the recent "Bronx Bombers" were box-office flops. 

"Rocky" has seen bigger success in Germany, where it debuted in 2012 in the city of Hamburg and continues to play. Stage Entertainment, one of the Broadway production's main backers, is exploring future versions of the musical in the U.S. and internationally, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Musical TheaterBroadway TheaterMoviesRocky (movie)Sylvester StalloneWinter GardenTony Awards
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