Fifteen or so minutes tardy, the lovely Winter Garden Theatre staff handed me my… tickets. I was confused to see that I had two tickets awaiting me, because I would sitting this musical alone. After being ushered (and inevitably shoving a few senior citizens on my way, oops) to my seat, I became slightly bothered that I seemed to be the only person with an empty seat next to them. Disappointing thoughts of who was supposed to be by my side throughout the show started to cloud my mind, until the old man next to me looked at me, smiling, and asked me “A little late now, aren’t you?” Hearing the happiness in his tone of voice helped me to realize that in every direction I looked, every person in the audience was genuinely happy to be there.
I began to wonder what it was about this production that had everybody else so ecstatic. Focusing now on the show rather than who was supposed to be at the show with me, I began to enjoy things. The music added an-almost-corny aspect to this classic boxing story. With help of the audience’s energy and the great set and scene transitions, I found myself getting more wrapped up in the show by the minute. Although intermission was lonely and reminded me of my partner’s absence, I continued to lose myself in ROCKY as soon as the production picked back up.
Towards the end of the play, the audience members seated towards the front became part of the show as the stage itself moved forward and evolved into a live, life-sized boxing ring. Half of the now-immersed crowd was rooting for Rocky and the other half for his opponent, Apollo Creed. Not being a part of the members seated atop the stage for all to see, I just applauded and rooted for both. Having never seen the classic Rocky films, I had no idea who was going to win the fight or how this match would go. After it had ended, I was so thoroughly entertained and satisfied that I was able to accept the music score past its cheesiness and even left with a skip in my step.