Andy Karl – Phil Connors
Barrett Doss – Rita Hanson
Rebecca Faulkenberry – Nancy
John Sanders – Ned Ryerson
Andrew Call – Gus/Billy the Bartender
Raymond J. Lee – Ralph
Venue: August Wilson Theatre
Date – Friday 14th July 2017
Groundhog Day the Musical is based on the extremely popular film from 1993 with the music and lyrics written by Tim Minchin. A show which started out in the West End and did fantastically well at the Olivier Awards, I had just missed it back in October as it closed a few days before I had a trip. Therefore I could not resist heading to see the show when out in New York, so pleased I did as well.
Andy Karl in the leading role is absolutely outstanding from start to finish. It cannot be an easy show to perform in with the same day being repeated over and over again. This certainly gave it that fantastic comedic edge though with the audience really being able to find the funny side of it all. You probably have to have seen the film though to really appreciate certain parts of it and to really understand the story.
The original songs are pretty impressive with Tim Minchin really adding in his unique style. A slight warning should be that it certainly is not for young children. It has a very good sleek feeling to it as it flies through the day over and over again. Adding the musical numbers at brilliant times as Phil Connors is attempting to work out just why he is stuck reliving the 2nd of February. In that you know horrible little town that he totally hated. It is amusing to see what he then decided to do on different days and that is something that makes you wonder what types of things would you get up to if it didn’t really matter as you would wake up being the only person who knew what had previously happened.
It is wacky at times but in well such a great way, seeing the truck being driven across the stage was well pretty hilarious. I loved the style of the music (and have since brought the Broadway cast recording) and thought it was very heartfelt at times as well. I am therefore extremely pleased that we managed to get tickets to see this show. Had a brilliant view of the stage as well, which obviously makes attending the theatre even better.
Andy Karl was a truly terrific leading man and deserves all of the credit for how much energy he places within this show from the opening moment to curtain call. I really was blown away by him and it has to be the best male performance I have seen in a very long time.
Something either unique or strange about this show has to be that while you know the story (I am assuming everyone has seen the film) the songs are all brand new. I hadn’t listened to any of it before the show. I actually really enjoy that about a new musical, being able to experience all of the songs on stage for the first time. It means you are in for plenty of surprises. I certainly hope Groundhog Day keeps going on Broadway and that we have it back in the UK at some point as well, I think this is a show that would do very well on tour!