Over the course of his very successful and much beloved career, actor/comedian Bill Murray has had a string of films that have gone on to become cult classics. Few Murray fans can get through the holiday season without at least one viewing of 1988's Scrooged, for example, just as mention of Ghostbusters evokes imagery of the actor covered in ectoplasmic ooze, uttering the words: “He slimed me.”
Arguably even more iconic than any of these roles however, is Murray’s turn as the smug and hilariously self-absorbed weatherman Phil Connors in 1993’s Groundhog Day. It isn’t just Murray’s efforts that make the film so acclaimed, either – the script, co-written by Danny Rubin and the late Harold Ramis (who also directed) has long been lauded for its brilliance in making the same on screen events compelling and delightfully re-watchable.
While a Groundhog Day sequel isn’t really on anyone’s wish list, news courtesy of The Wrap reveals that the film will live on once more through a brand new musical stage production set to arrive on Broadway this spring. Groundhog Day the musical had previously enjoyed its world premiere in London this past August and was showered with praise by everyone from esteemed theater critics to Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright.
The new production, which features music from composer Tim Minchin - who also provided music for the Tony award-winning Matilda production – has not announced its cast as of this writing. American actor Andy Karl played the role of Phil Connors during the London performances, but there’s been no word as to whether or not he’s being considered for the Broadway run. Matthew Warchus, whose direction on the stage production of God of Carnage landed him a Tony award for best director, will head up Groundhog Day. The musical sticks to the same tale familiar to fans of the film and will mark its official arrival at New York’s August Wilson theater on April 17th, 2017.
Among Groundhog Day the musical’s reviews, there have been those who’ve claimed that the stage production is actually superior to the original. This is indeed a bold claim to make and one that Bill Murray diehards would find almost sacrilege. Surely there will also be a sizeable contingent of Groundhog Day fans who will demand that Murray take up the lead role in the musical, but it’s safe to assume there’s very little chance of that happening. Although, it must be said that seeing Murray in a musical of this caliber would be nothing short of superb.
With its rave London reviews behind it, Groundhog Day the musical’s arrival in America is sure to be eagerly anticipated. Once the initial performance is out of the way and the reviews come pouring in, fans of the film will have a better idea as to whether or not this production is worth their time and money, but based on the reception its British counterpart received as well as the talent involved in bringing this production to life, all signs point to a promising theatrical run.
Groundhog Day the musical will debut in New York City on April 17th, 2017.
Source: The Wrap