One of Hollywood's favorite underdogs is tapped to score a knockout with theatergoers
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One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.”
A half hour before curtain on a recent Monday night, an assistant to choreographer Steven Hoggett is counting off the beats in a run-through of a complicated routine for two actors in boxing shorts. Timed to the beats, a seemingly random flurry of punches becomes a series of discrete, carefully plotted moves: a feint, a clinch, some quick blows to the ribs, a wild swing above the head. Hoggett, a thickset Brit who has devised the inventive movement for such shows as Once and American Idiot, quietly offers a few suggestions at each break in the action: Turn the gloves this way, not that; “more shoulders and back.”
“The hardest thing to do is to sell the punch,” says Sylvester Stallone, who invented these characters and knows a little bit about fake boxing for a paying crowd.