Groundhog Day: The Musical
Starting March 16th, Groundhog Day begins its production run at Virginia/August Wilson Theatre in New York, NY. It is replacing Jersey Boys, the 12th longest-running show in Broadway history. The Broadway musical will be one of the newest editions to the 2017 list of Broadway shows. It has dates until early 2018, demonstrating the expectation for a high demand due to the rave reviews from early runs.
The Broadway 2017 opening follows a 2016 run in London’s The Old Vic Theatre. March 16th marks the beginning of Broadway’s previews, and the musical officially opens on April 17th.
Groundhog Day is based off of the 1993 movie comedy of the same title. Andy Karl stars as Phil Connors, a Channel 9 Pittsburgh weatherman assigned the Groundhog Day story. Connors covers Punxsutawney Phil for the third year in a row. Karl puts in minimal effort and groans his way through the assignment. However, the next day, he discovers that it’s Groundhog Day all over again. He has to repeat the entire day. Connors then realizes he must take advantage of the time warp to pursue love with a co-worker. Barrett Doss plays Rita Hansen, the co-worker that Phil tries to woo.
Below is an Broadway.com interview with Tim Minchin, the composer behind the music and lyrics of Groundhog Day:
Groundhog Day: The Holiday and History
Groundhog Day is February 2nd. The origin ties back to man’s relationship with nature; how nature influences the lives of humans. It also leans on the mythical belief that animals awake from the winter months on a certain day. If the groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow, it is an omen for six more weeks of bad, wintry weather. If he doesn’t see his shadow, it is a sign that spring is coming soon. The basis is pure superstition, as a sunny or cloudy day influences the results.
The groundhog tradition itself stems from early Christianity in Europe. It was tradition for clergymen to bless candles and distribute them to the people on Groundhog Day, marking the change in season and importance of the weather.
Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog referenced in the movie and musical, is supposedly “the one true forecasting groundhog.” Punxsutawney, Pennslyvania has celebrated the event for 131 years. Therefore, the film was inspired by real events during the holiday.