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TODAY   |  April 02, 2014

Broadway star: Having ‘time of my life’ as Rocky

Andy Karl and Margo Seibert, the stars of “Rocky: The Musical,” join TODAY to chat about starring in the Broadway version of the Oscar-winning first film in the “Rocky” franchise, and Karl’s intense training for the starring role.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we've got more this morning on our exclusive look at " rocky " the broadway musical . the year 1976 when sylvester stallone boxed his way to the top and won a best picture oscar for " rocky " the movie. two stars of the musical are with us. good morning to both of you. yo, adrienne , i had to say it. first of all, gold stars , you have two shows to do on broadway today.

>> that's what you have to do. live the rocky spirit. get up early.

>> toughen up. this is your broadway debut .

>> it is.

>> where were you? what were you doing before this during the audition process?

>> before this, i had a lot of part-time jobs. i was babysitting quite a bit. i was running a homeless dinner on wednesday night and i happened to be babysitting when i got the call.

>> the call of a lifetime?

>> yeah, it was great. it was pretty amazing.

>> how long was the process of auditioning until you found out you actually scored the role?

>> yeah, i had nine callbacks.

>> oh, my gosh.

>> for the show.

>> that's torture.

>> it was great. five or six, i was like, i guess something's going pretty right here. it was amazing.

>> this is not your broadway debut , but it's your first leading role.

>> yes. first big leading role and what a leading role it is.

>> what's it like to step into rocky 's shoes?

>> having the time of my life , taking on this icon could scare people away. for me, there was something that felt right about doing the show and doing this role.

>> there are some fight scenes , obviously, as any rocky sendoff would. but there's also romance, a relationship, after all, we remember from the classic movies. and rocky and adrienne have a nice relationship. how would you describe? i wonder if the women's point of view and the men's point of view change.

>> yeah, absolutely. how would you describe the relationship?

>> i think " rocky " in itself is a love story . and you know, you have the amazing boxing at the beginning and at the end. but in the middle, the whole story is these two kind of broken people who have the opportunity of finding each other and they both go through a transformation because of that. and it's a really exciting thing, i think, for the audience. they forget it's this love story .

>> yeah. is it as tender for you as it is for her?

>> it's everything. rocky wouldn't be able to fight the last fight without the love story . he wouldn't be able to do that without adrienne . and he -- because he finds all this dignity and this love that gives him something to stand on as far as a human being and face all the challenges he goes through. so it is very important. so we earn that final fight at the end.

>> there is the fight. and there is. you do this eight times a week.

>> yeah.

>> you fight a prize fight eight times a week. how are you holding up physically?

>> i feel like i'm doing three shows in one every night because i finish a song and then i have to do a quick change to do the final fight . and while i'm changing, i'm telling my dresser keith who works here, as well.

>> he does, you're right. he dresses savannah which is a fight in its own right.

>> he's throwing gloves on me and we're getting ready to do this and it's almost like i have to start a new show every time i get to that ring.

>> everybody is talking about the whole show, but the last 15, 20 minutes , they say is an experience that nobody has ever really had on broadway before. is there any part of it you can share with us without giving too much away?

>> sure. everything. i mean, as far as -- you'll be able to see something you've never seen before, especially with this show. and i've been told that over and over again because our ring does actually come out into the audience.

>> it's like a full experience for the audience. i think that people start thinking, you know, am i at a sporting event ? am i at a piece of theater? is it intimate? a spectacle? it's all these things wrapped in one. people are screaming, standing up.

>> it turns into madison square garden .

>> and if this goes for a long time and you're lucky enough to be with this show for a long time, do you have any idea how many people are going to walk up to you on the street and go, yo, adrienne .

>> i cannot wait. it's great.

>> that would be the best thing to come out of this.

>> yeah. all the time.

>> congratulations, andy and margo and thank you for spending so much time with us this week. and willie really enjoyed the backstage boxing.

>> thanks for having us on.