This excursion was Jay's birthday gift - I bought two tickets to the Winter Garden Theater located in New York City so we could witness this new Broadway show. There has been quite a buzz and since the Rocky series is his all-time favorite (and ultimate motto in life), I decided to be the hero for the weekend. The streets were packed at 7:30 on a Saturday night, but we were refreshingly blessed with the lack of humidity - especially for this time of year in the Urban Jungle!
There was an immediate hype in the air as you strolled up to the entrance. Whose eyes could neglect the big red lettering? With no true background on the show, we wondered which movie the play would be about. A compilation of the entire series? A focus on just the original? Honestly, I had idea what to expect. They finally started to let us in and we took our seats.
Of course I chose the aisle seats for Jay's sake. There is something about men insisting to be on the aisle, as if they feel the need to escape! Jay gets a little anxious the deeper we are inside a row and I myself now prefer the convenience and freedom of the aisle. You never know what you may need or when you may want to get out. I am so thankful that we did, because the woman next to me was a drunk. She was by herself and double-fisting 20 oz. cups of beer.
We realized right away that the show was a re-creation of the first movie. It started off slow as we watched this dopey fighter court the shy pet shop girl. Actually, the first half inched along somewhat at a snails pace. If it wasn't for the singing of the actress played by Adrian, I would have been mesmerized by the moth clinging to the stage light. Rocky's accent was also a little distracting. Back in my college days, I definitely could have drank myself stupid if I drank a shot every time he said "Yo, Adrian." Maybe then I would have been on the same level as my drunken pal to the right. But wait, she was too busy bending over in her seat and writing in her Harriet the Spy notebook. And I'm not joking - this woman probably caught a total of 30 minutes of the whole show.
We prepared ourselves for the second act as intermission came to an end. We sat back down and hoped that the show would take an exciting turn. To my relief, Rocky redeemed our attention as the training montage began. And as you started to prepare for the main fight, the crowd sitting in the "Golden Circle" was escorted to the stage for the final scene! We knew there was something special about those tickets, but it wasn't evident until they got in the bleachers and the boxing ring actually hovered over their rows. A jumbo-tron came down and we felt like we were at the Spectrum in Philly. The final scene and contention between Rocky and Apollo was about to begin, and you almost felt like you were at a real boxing match. They even used fake blood in the battle throughout the rounds.
We obviously know how this ends - even though Apollo wins the fight, Rocky still wins the girl. All is right in the world again. And Jay and I talked about it for the rest of the night. We were pleased overall with the performance and I think this whole adventure sparked our interest to try more Broadway shows together.