HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!!! In celebration of this popular traditional holiday predicting if we get a longer winter or early spring, here is a little throwback to the Broadway musical version of GROUNDHOG DAY (based on the 1993 film of the same name).
Groundhog Day Musical features a score by Tim Minchin and book by Danny Rubin. It tells the story of a grumpy TV weatherman who gets caught in a time loop and reliving the same day as it repeats over and over again (while covering the Groundhog Day festivities).
The show had its world premiere originally in London at The Old Vic Theatre in London in 2016 for a limited stint. The show starred Broadway's very own Andy Karl as "Phil Connors". It earned rave reviews and won that year's Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Leading Actor In a Musical (for Karl).
Following the success of the London premiere, the show went on to Broadway's August Wilson Theatre the following year of 2017. It lasted for only 32 previews and 176 regular performances. Reviews were mixed but it went on to receive 7 Tony Awards nominations (including Best Musical) but lost all the categories.
Following the closing of Broadway, GROUNDHOG DAY was initially scheduled to embark on an 18 month North American National Tour and a return engagement to London's West End in 2018. However, it was cancelled.
During the beginning of the show's engagements in London and on Broadway, the musical was well known for experiencing some numerous technical problems in previews. The London premiere initially only had 3 previews initially that was supposed to begin on July 11th, 2016 with the Opening Night set for July 15th, 2016. However, those early previews got cancelled for the cast, crew, and creative team to clean up the mess. The initial Opening Night on July 15th, 2016 became the final invited dress rehearsal and was pushed to the next day.
For the Broadway engagement, the first preview performance stopped within the first few minutes of the show due to a malfunction with the stage's revolving turntable. The show was stopped for 15 minutes and then it was continued as a concert staging for the rest of the show (with the actors sitting at chairs on stage). In addition to the set malfunction, leading man Andy Karl tore his anterior cruciate ligament onstage during one of the show's major numbers PHILANTHROPY. However he continued with the show to the very end using a cane before heading off to the hospital. The very next day, the mattinae performance was cancelled for Karl's understudy Andrew Call to have a put-in rehearsal and then went on for the evening as "Phil Connors". Despite the injury, Karl returned just in time for the Opening Night performance. What an amazing lineup of troopers.
Who remembers seeing GROUNDHOG DAY on Broadway?