Matthew Amira, a star is born

Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
Rocky, the Musical is now playing at Philadelphia’s historic Walnut Street Theatre until November 6. Matthew Amira stars as Rocky Balboa, and he is, quite simply, amazing. Don’t miss your chance to see his incandescent performance. Rocky made Sylvester Stallone into an international star in the 1970s, and you can only guess where Matt Amira’s career will take off  in this decade.
 
Rocky, the Musical has Book by Thomas Meehan and Sylvester Stallone, Music by Stephen Flaherty, and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. In addition to the star performance of Mr. Amira, Gianna Yanelli is an all-too-vulnerable Adrian. Nichalas L. Parker is Apollo Creed, while a host of supporting actors breathe life into the wide range of characters in the musical.
 
The boxing scenes will make you feel a visceral thrill, no doubt because Boxing Consultant Maleek Jackson was there to show the actors how to realistically box in a safe way. 
 
The impressive Scenic Design by Roman Tatarowicz heightened by Julie Duro’s Lighting Design will leave you breathless. Richard Stafford both Directed and Choreographed to thrilling effect. Add in the live orchestra hidden under the stage, and you have a total musical theatre experience. 
 
Rocky, the Musical has it all, the sides of beef, the famous songs, among them, “Eye Of The Tiger,” even the steps. As Philadelphians, you owe it to yourselves to see this rarely-seen love letter to Philadelphia.
 
One caveat: two ASL signers were spotlighted during the performance this evening at the right side of the theatre, so if you are hearing challenged, plan to sit there. If not, you could find the man’s and woman’s gesticulations and broad motions distracting. So far, only the October 13 performance was listed as ASL Descriptive.
 
Rocky, the Musical will be at the Walnut Street Theatre until November 6. Next will be Cinderella, starting November 22, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, January 10, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, February 14, and ending the season will be Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville, March 28. For more information, visit:

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