‘Groundhog Day’ Is Coming to Broadway (Over and Over and Over and Over…)
We’re big fans of Groundhog Day here at ScreenCrush — I mean, we did just pick it as number one on our list of the 25 Best Comedies of the Last 25 Years — so this news, via The Hollywood Reporter, has us excited: Groundhog Day is coming to Broadway on January 23, 2017. A new version of Groundhog Day! It feels like we’re living the same story over and over and over again! But with, like, music this time.
It’s funny because that’s the conceit of Groundhog Day, where misanthropic weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray in the original movie; TBD on the stage) relives the same day over and over again until he finally gets it right. The creators of this Broadway adaptation of Harold Ramis’ fabulous film have a strong track record turning movies into stage musicals: Director Matthew Warchus, composer-lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling, and designer Rob Howell all worked together on the Broadway version of Matilda, which won four Tony Awards and is still playing at New York’s Shubert Theatre. (The book for the musical is by Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the original film with Ramis.)
Broadway versions of films can be very hit or miss. For every Producers there’s a Saturday Night Fever; for every Spamalot, there’s a Carrie. But Groundhog Day would seem to have a lot of the qualities that would work well for a movie transitioning to the stage. Most importantly, the action is relatively contained to just a handful of locations and characters, so it won’t need to be scaled down too significantly. Though I can easily envision Ramis’ version working as a musical, Minchin told Rolling Stone last year that the Broadway show will be “both instantly recognizable and utterly different.”
These artists should have the freedom to adapt the material however they see fit. The only thing I hope the new Groundhog Day is totally faithful to from the original is its level of quality. Boy, it’s really going to feel like deja vu when they do the show twice on Saturdays. Do you think they’ll license “I Got You Babe”?
Here’s Minchin singing one of the songs from the show: