Groundhog Day The Musical - When tomorrow is always today - A Review

 

I LOVED THIS SHOW and I will say it again, "I LOVED THIS SHOW"!  Groundhog Day The Musical is what Broadway is all about.

Where do I begin?  Andy Karl is one of the most brilliant and talented actors on  Broadway. He won the Best Actor award for his West End performance of this musical and well-deserved.  In addition, he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.  Once again, well-deserved.

Mr. Karl is dazzling as Phil (no pun intended), Collins, the arrogant, self-centered weatherman, who is (very reluctantly)  sent to  Punxsutawney, Pa. to cover the infamous, once-a-year, fabulous (at least for a small town) occasion of Groundhog Day.   Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?  Will there be six more weeks of winter?  That, my friends, is the least of Phil's  (the weatherman's) problems.

Groundhog Day The Musical - Photo Credit: Ellen Eichelbaum, Splash Magazines Worldwide

Planning on a one-day only (half day if weather holds up), short and not-so-sweet wrap-up of the Beaver's rendition of winter, Phil winds up in the most chaotic and inventive time warp ever.

To say that Phil had to 'sleep over' in Punxsutawney  because of the horrible road closures , is a gross understatement.  Our sarcastic weatherman has found his own Twilight Zone,  but it lasts way more than a half hour.

In this fabulous 2 hour and 30 minute entertainment extravaganza,  you are treated to multi-talented dancers, actors, comedians and to an array of fabulous costumes.

The staging of this production is over-the-top.  From the moment  you walk in, you are in front of the largest display of  digital time clocks ever assembled on Broadway.  The scenery is so inventive and original.   I am always amazed at how succinctly and discretely  these actors are in moving scenery and furniture right before your eyes, and you are not aware.  One minute we are looking at a diner scene, with people laughing and drinking;  the next, our beloved Phil is back in bed.

And, in bed he will be for many-a-day.

Many of us know the great film with Bill Murray as Phil Collins who lives to see another day and another day and once again, another  day, where nothing changes (or does it?) The book is by Danny Rubin, who also co-wrote the screenplay to the 1993 film.

Putting this story to music makes it so much more enjoyable and you actually are on edge waiting to see if February 3rd ever comes.

Along Phil's tumultuous and confusing journey through the same day and time, he becomes, shall we say, 'a mensch,'  someone you would want your daughter to marry.  But on this journey he not only learns about himself but about the residents of this small town.  There are those who may not be as fortunate; those who may act differently, and those who are on their own learning journey.

Phil ultimately makes his own transformation and that is the journey we take.  The action never stops, the music is terrific and the story is one that will make you laugh, cry and, most of all, think.

A standing ovation goes to Barrett Doss, who plays Rita Hanson, the associate producer who is having just a 'little problem' with Phil since he seems to be the only one in this time warp.  Mr. Karl is a hard act to follow, especially for Rita.

Matthew Warchus, the director of Matilda (which I also adored), did an absolute perfect job in directing Groundhog Day, The Musical.  Composer and lyricist, Tim Minchin, drove me to buy the music track so I can do some reliving myself.

The great cast with their comedic skills as well as their dance moves, had the audience applauding and wanting more.  These roles are demanding and there wasn't a disappointing moment in the show.

The house was packed and the people in front of me saw the show three times.

Yep, I can see myself reliving this show;  hopefully, it will be on a different day.

 

Groundhog Day, The Musical is open-ended and currently playing at:

The August Wilson Theatre, 245 West 52nd  Street, between Broadway & 8th Ave.

For more information, go to:  http://www.groundhogdaymusical.com

When you buy your tickets, plan on buying them again.  You are going to want to see this twice!

 

 

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