Groundhog Day (The Musical) Review

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Groundhog Day (The Musical) Review

Groundhog Day Cast

Andy Karl (Phil Connors), Carlyss Peer (Rita Hanson). More here.

Groundhog Day Synopsis

Based on the film of the same name, Groundhog Day follows Phill Connors (an arrogant TV weatherman) through his repeated reliving of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day celebrations.

Groundhog Day

As in the film, this musical has a marvellously fantastical plot that lends itself to the re-examination of modern day human life. It has a moral undercurrent that’s grounded in reality and ultimately tugs at your emotions. I admit to being apprehensive as to how the constant plot repetition would come across on stage but this is a film to stage adaption that truly works. They’ve taken the plot (at least as I remember it) and sliced it and diced it into an incredibly well paced, comedic, stage worthy production.

In a post-Matilda world, Tim Minchin’s music has a lot to live up to, I think he delivered. A lot of the music has a sort of country vibe which matched the rural vibe of Punxsutawney well. The lyrics are full Minchin’s brand of scathing humour, while they make the production less child-friendly; they hold a refreshing, valuable mirror up to modern life. Musical numbers focused on alternative medicine and alcohol culture are real highlights.

This Production of Groundhog Day

Andy Karl really carries the show. He embodies the Phill Connors created by Bill Murray with tremendous energy while still making the character his own. I wasn’t particularly keen on Carlyss Peer’s voice, it’s a little harsh, but she portrayed a lovable Rita with an infectious charm that makes you root for her throughout. The ensemble was fantastic too, repeatedly delivering the same plot moments without making them feel tedious.

This production is staged with a great deal of humour, there’s a particular simple staging choice involving a certain groundhog that will make you laugh from the pit of your stomach. The set is wonderfully atmospheric and allows for some theatre magic that took my breath away. The car chase scene was another visual highlight.

My Verdict on Groundhog Day

Overall this is a very cohesive production that’s well worth seeing.  It’s musical theatre with intellect that also delivers on a visual and emotional level. I loved it. I give Groundhog Day a rating of 4/5.

You can now experience this production via the Original Broadway Cast Recording*!

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