‘GROUNDHOG DAY’: Andy Karl. Photo: Joan Marcus

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GROUNDHOG DAY
Book by Danny Rubin
Music & lyrics by Tim Minchin
Directed by Matthew Warchus
Choreographed by Peter Darling
August Wilson Theatre
245 West  52nd Street
(877-250-2929), www.Groundhogdaymusical.com

 

By David NouNou

 

Turning a motion picture into a musical is nothing new. It was done earlier this season to disastrous results. However, when you bring in talented peoplethe likes of: writer, Danny Rubin, who wrote the original screenplay for Groundhog Day; songsmith Tim Minchin, who gave us Matilda; an especially adept and creative director, Matthew Marchus, who did Matilda, Follies, among endless other shows; and expert choreographer, Peter Darling, all people who know what they are doingand throw in the incredible Andy Karl, you have yourself a winning combination that keeps giving, and giving, and giving, and giving.

As part of his job and against his will, Phil Connors (Andy Karl),an arrogant and obnoxious weatherman in Pittsburgh, is assigned to go to Punxsutawney, PA to cover the annual Groundhog Day. It is a cold and bitter winter day, February 2nd, in a dreary, humdrum town, with conventional people and nothing much to do but cover the damn groundhog story to see if it sees its shadow or not. This is the day Phil has been cursed with to repeat again and again until he gets it right.

Of course, there is Rita (Barrett Doss), Phil’s associate producer and ultimately his love interest, who helps him get on the path of redemption and the colorful townsfolk of Punxutawwney: the mayor; Ned Ryerson, the insurance salesman; Nancy, the lovely town beauty; the town drunks Gus and Ralph; they are all here. In addition, there are also all the ways that Phil tries to free himself of this awful nightmare.

Just like the clever spinning set by Rob Howell, Matthew Warchus keeps the story line spinning cleverly with so many brilliant touches that it would rob the viewer to mention these surprises. Suffice it to say it keeps up with the movie.

The fireworks that burst from the stage are nothing more than the vibrant talents of Andy Karl. He is a one-man irresistible dynamo. In the movie you had Bill Murray who is a larger-than-life character great for the screen. For a stage adapted musical, you need an actor, singer, charmer, and extraordinary likable guy and that is Andy Karl. In case you need further incentive to see Groundhog Day, just a couple of weeks ago it won the Olivier Awards in London for “best new musical” and “best musical actor,” Andy Karl. The Oliviers are Britain’s version of the Tony Awards. Enjoy.

 

 

Edited by Scott Harrah
Published April 23, 2017
Reviewed at performance on April 22, 2017

‘GROUNDHOG DAY’: Andy Karl. Photo: Joan Marcus

‘GROUNDHOG DAY’: John Sanders & Andy Karl. Photo: Joan Marcus

‘GROUNDHOG DAY’: Andy Karl & Barrett Doss. Photo: Joan Marcus

‘GROUNDHOG DAY’: Barrett Doss & Andy Karl. Photo: Joan Marcus

Groundhog Day

‘GROUNDHOG DAY’: Andy Karl & Barrett Doss. Photo: Joan Marcus

‘GROUNDHOG DAY’: The cast. Photo: Joan Marcus

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