Groundhog Day: What Will Tomorrow Bring If Tomorrow is Today?
For a weatherman who is programmed to predict what tomorrow will bring, a today that is just a repeat of yesterday is a whole different ballgame. The weather will be the same, naturally, but the day can revolve out in so many different ways. Cloudy and cold is the forecast but this festive new musical is anything but. Based on the popular Bill Murray movie of the same name, Groundhog Day gleefully asks the question, how would we treat an endless cycle of todays that are just yesterdays repeated, with no tomorrow in sight for one very confused soul in need of a reboot. It’s a story that, in an abstract way, only a theatre performer can completely understand. They wake everyday to prepare to do the exact same thing they did at last night’s performance. Be in the same place, same moment, same lines, same dance, same song. Variations exist, slight changes to see different subtle outcomes but the daily routine doesn’t alter too much. They get this concept, and it shows in this very precise and enjoyable show.
As directed expertly by Matthew Warchus (Matilda, The Norman Conquests), Groundhog Day contemplates that daily rerun scenario on a much grander and deeper existential scale but sadly it doesn’t dig deep into our collective emotional hearts. The new musical, fresh off a few Olivier Award wins just weeks before its Broadway opening (and now has an injured star – hopefully back in the saddle by opening night), captures all the wit and insanity of Bill Murray’s epic turn as a celebrity weatherman on redial. This go-around, Andy Karl (Rocky, On the Twentieth Century) stars as the arrogant weatherman, Phil Conners, sent against his will to cover the Groundhog Day celebrations in the small town of Punxsutawney, PA, the home of the famous groundhog, Phil. Without any explanation as to why, something truly astounding happens. Life and circumstance keeps him in a never ending loop waking up every morning to a fresh new Groundhog Day. Karl wonderfully captures Connors arrogance, exasperation, and confusion at this incredible rehashing of events. Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? Will we have six more weeks of winter? Will Phil the weatherman figure out how to escape his predicament? Time will tell…(for the full review: click here)