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The Rockies are the boxcars, part of the Freight train in Starlight Express.

Role

We first meet the Rockies in Freight, as Rusty is sent to shunt the Freight train into place. The three near-identical Rockies are boxers, focused on their physical fitness and sparring with each other. The Rockies watch as the National Engines are introduced, and are sucked in to Electra's power in AC/DC. They dance and joke around while Greaseball is showing off in Pumping Iron. As the National Engines hitch up with their partners, Rocky 1 agrees to race with Prince of Wales in the second heat.

The Rockies hang out with Poppa in the freight yard, listening to him singing The Blues as they practice their breakdancing moves and co-ordinate their choreography. While the Prince of Wales being scrapped is very convenient for Poppa to take his place in the race, it does leave Rocky 1 without a race partner which upsets him.

Rusty brings the Rockies to Poppa at the end of the Race, some of them blaming Rusty for Poppa having worked himself into the ground. But they're loyal to their Steamer friends, prepared to defend them physically from their attackers.

After Rusty is wrecked by Caboose in the Uphill final, the Rockies offer him some tough love in "Right Place, Right Time". They have a rather fatalistic outlook on life, sometimes life sucks, you gotta move on. Rocky 1 tells Rusty "Face it, Rusty, you're out of it." The little steam shunter they know so well wouldn't be able to race against the big engines. But when the Starlight Express inspires Rusty to win, the Rockies are as delighted as anyone to have been proven wrong.

Character

The Rockies are a reference to the Rocky Movie Franchise, starring Sylvester Stallone. The connection running that Rocky/boxer/Box cars, multiple identical units. This source material influenced the choreography, with many boxing movements and poses, and the original costume design, consisting of boxer shorts, vest top, protective helmet, and tape stripe across the nose.

In 1983/84 when the original production was workshopped, there were three Rocky movies, and three Rockies onstage. By the opening of the Broadway production in 1987, the 4th Rocky movie (1985) had been produced, so a 4th Rocky was added onstage for Broadway, Japan/Australia, and Bochum. By 1990 however, Rocky 4 was cut from the German cast. London remained with only 3 Rockies.

In 2003, the 2nd US tour decided to modernise the show, and remove the outdated 1980s references. The Rockies were replaced by the Hip Hoppers, a play on "Hip Hop", and Hoppers such as already represented in the show by Dustin. The following UK Tour kept the new characters, however restoring some of their original music (thereby cutting the hip hop music), and the Bochum production followed suit in 2007. Unfortunately the 6th Rocky film, which came out in 2006 and revived interest in the franchise, did not influence the productions.

Appearance

Costume design

Gallery

Photo gallery

Cast

Many of the actors who have portrayed the Rockies did so for many years, and often switched between roles. It was common for Rockies 2 and 3 to understudy Rocky 1.

London

1984 - 1985 Danny John Jules Attlee Baptiste Richard Bodkin
1985 - 1986 Attlee Baptiste Ruel George Campbell Sebastian Craig
1986 - 1987 Sebastian Craig Ruel George Campbell Winston Pitt
1987 Attlee Baptiste Tristan Rafael Rory Williams
1987 - 1988 Rory Williams Mykal Rand Trevor Hodge
1988 - 1989 Antoni Garfield Henry KFTD Rory Williams
1989 Mykal Rand KFTD Rory Williams
1989 - 1990 Antoni Garfield Henry KFTD Rory Williams
1990 - 1996 KFTD Algernon Williams Rory Williams
1996 - 1997 Rory Williams Algernon Williams Jason Pennycooke
1997 - 1998 KFTD David Obinyan Rory Williams
1998 - 1999 David Obinyan Tim Noble Segourney Robinson
1999 - 2000 Michael Skyers Rob Grose Algernon Williams
2000 - 2001 Martin Boothe / Michael Skyers Rob Grose Algernon Williams
2001 - 2002 Scott Murtaugh Leo Bidwell Algernon Williams

Broadway

1987 - 1988 Frank Mastrocola Sean Grant Ronald Garza Angel Vargas
1988 - 1989 Bryan Batt Sean Grant Ronald Garza Angel Vargas

Japan / Australia Tours

1987 Keith Tyrone Marvin Engran Antoni Garfield Henry KFTD
1990 Winston Pitt Algernon Williams Jim Harrison Mitsuko Tokuhisa

Bochum, Germany

1988 - 1989 Lamott Atkins Sebastian Craig Gregory McKinnon Rodney McGuire
1989 Lamott Atkins Martin Boothe Gregory McKinnon Rodney McGuire
1989 - 1990 Martin Boothe Trevor Hodge Windsor Robinson
1990 - 1991 Martin Boothe Rodney McGuire / Gary Forbes Windsor Robinson
1991 - 1992 Martin Boothe Lamott Atkins / Wilton Anderson Jim Harrison
1992 Martin Boothe Michael Carl King Yilmaz Aktepe
1992 - 1993 Martin Boothe / Ronald Garza Devin Richards RT Smith
1993 - 1994 Dwight Toppin Peter Liciaga RT Smith
1994 - 1995 Dwight Toppin Troy V McLaughlin Yilmaz Aktepe
1995 - 1996 Martin Boothe Christian Hante Kellan Davis
1996 - 1997 Martin Boothe Christian Hante Garland Days
1997 - 1998 Martin Boothe Christian Hante Peter Liciaga
1998 - 1999 Martin Boothe Peter Liciaga Leroy Ricardo Jones
1999 - 2000 Christian Hante Tony Cordell Giuliano Mercoli
2000 - 2001 Tony Cordell Dwight Toppin Peter Liciaga
2001 - 2002 Tony Cordell Dwight Toppin Craig McDermott
2002 - 2003 Tony Cordell Alexander Lee Burgos Hunter Jaques
2003 - 2004 Christian Hante Alexander Lee Burgos Hunter Jaques
2004 - 2005 Christian Hante Luigi Scarano Tristan Adams
2005 - 2006 Christian Hante Luigi Scarano Tristan Adams
2006 - 2007 Christian Hante Alexander Soehnle Luigi Scarano

(2007 Replaced by Hip Hoppers)

US Tour 1989 - 1991

1989 - 1991 Ronald Garza Dwight Toppin Angel Vargas

Las Vegas 1993 - 1997

1993 - 1994 Michael Carl King David Enriquez Jim Harrison
1994 - 1995 Michael Carl King Tony Cordell Leo Alvarez
1995 - 1996 -
1996 - 1997 Troy V McLaughlin Allen Lev Angelo Rivera

US Tour 2003 - 2004

(Replaced by Hip Hoppers)

UK Tours 2004 - 2008

(Replaced by Hip Hoppers)

NZ Tour 2009

(Replaced by Hip Hoppers)

UK Tour 2012-2013

(Replaced by Hip Hoppers)

Trivia

  • There were four boxcars by Broadway, but the fourth boxcar was cut from Bochum, following the 1989 Cast.
  • Rumours abound that Rocky 4 was cut from the show after a bad accident.
  • The Rockies were replaced by the Hip Hoppers in 2007 in Bochum, but the Hip Hoppers are still described as "Box Cars" in the German script.

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