If you had your time again, would you do it all the same? That's the question Groundhog Day the Musical poses. Based on the beloved classic movie by the same name staring Bill Murray, this musical tells the story of a self-proclaimed hot-shot weatherman Phil Connors on one particular day: Groundhog day. Sent on an assignment he feels is below his paygrade to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to report back live whether the famous groundhog saw his shadow or not, Phil finds himself stuck in a time loop and living this silly holiday in this small town over and over again.
Interested yet? Here's what you should know before the show:
1. This musical has music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, who also wrote the music and lyrics for Matilda the Musical a few years back. His music tends to be very exciting, utilizing interesting harmonies and unusual meters. In the case of Groundhog Day, the variations on the music of this one particular day shows the shifting moods that Phil experiences, from trapped to liberated to depressed to enlightened. It is very intuitive to the audience exactly what he is feeling, and, in a way, projects the moods directly onto the audience members.
2. The chorus of this show is so important. They create the exciting atmosphere of the holiday, but change quickly depending on what Phil throws at them. For a staged production, the actions and intentions of the characters are unbelievably original.
3. Most of the stage is a turntable. However, unlike Anastasia the Musical which (I think) utilizes the rotating set way too much to the point of being distracting, Groundhog Day used it in ways that felt natural and which added to the overall storytelling.
4. Telling the story of the same day over and over again is no small feat. This musical managed to do it in such a way that is easy to follow and fun to watch. The pacing of the show is also very accommodating, switching seamlessly from whole days at a time to real-time moments to repeats of specific scenes and different outcomes to inner monologues.
5. The song Hope is accompanied with gruesome and morbidly hilarious scenes of Phil committing suicide. It is my favorite part of the show because of the complete contradiction between what being sung and what is being shown.
6. You've probably deduced this, but with a 5 minute suicide scene and some very colorful language, this show is not exactly child-friendly. Listen to the music beforehand, and then making a decision whether you need a babysitter.
7. Rita, the female lead of the show and junior producer at Phil's station, sings a song called One Day. Classic Disney fans would get the references in this song. *Hint: Snow White*
Groundhog Day the Musical was nominated for 7 Tony's in 2017. It's a high energy show with terrific choreography, mind-spinning musical numbers, and a heart-warming message that will leave you feeling cozy through those "6 more weeks of winter."
Groundhog Day the Musical closes on Broadway September 17th, 2017.