What a fun fun show.
I'd seen the movie many years ago and wondered how they would pull this off. They did a really good job. It was interesting to see how they would get Phil back into bed to start the day off. There was only one time that I really saw them do it. All the other times I was just as surprised as everyone else.
|This was what was projected on the curtain before the start of the show. They were great.|
Here's part of a review of the show from Entertainment Weekly:
Spectacle is fine, but none of it much matters if the basics of the show don’t work. Thankfully, they do. Beautifully. Once you’ve made peace with the Murraylessness of the evening, Groundhog Day manages to hold onto everything that made Harold Ramis’ movie such a classic and adds songs bound to become nearly as memorable. Karl’s first real number, “Small Town, USA”, a swipe at provincial burgs (including, no doubt, many that the tourist-heavy audience hail from) is a bitter little cookie. The country-western tune “Nobody Cares,” performed by Karl along with the town’s resident pair of dim-bulb drunks, Andrew Call’s Gus and Raymond J. Lee’s Ralph, is a honkytonk hoot. And the second act’s “Playing Nancy” sung by Phil’s one-night-stand floozy (Rebecca Faulkenberry) and “Night Will Come,” sung by John Sanders’ Ned Ryerson, the annoyingly pushy insurance salesman who hounds Phil (Bing!), adds some three-hankie sentimentality to a story that previously never had much use for it. And in “One Day,” Barrett Doss’ Rita becomes a more three-dimensional character than Andie MacDowell had to work with in the film.Andy Karl is just great as Phil. He really pulls off the transformation from a jerk to a really great person very well. It is a believable change as he starts look at the lives of the people around him and how he can help those lives be better.
Theater, of course, is all about repetition. During a show’s run, every performance can take on a same-iness with only minor nightly variations. You could even say that the long run of a show may end up feeling a bit like Groundhog Day to its actors. But thanks to Karl’s undeniable star power, charisma, and quicksilver stage presence (how does he keep managing to make his way back into that bed without the audience seeing?), Groundhog Day: The Musical soars. It’s a show about déjà vu that I suspect will feel totally fresh and new every night.
Here are a couple of pictures of the cast coming out to sign autographs.
Andy Karl on the left and his co-star Barrett Doss on the right.