CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

'Groundhog Day' Is Now A Musical, And Here Are The Songs

NPR: Would you believe this time, Ned Ryerson gets a big ballad about the meaning of life?

The 1993 film Groundhog Day made Ryerson, played by Stephen Tobolowsky, only one of many annoyances that crossed the path of Phil Connors, a dyspeptic weatherman forced to live the same day over and over. Specifically, Phil lives and relives Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Penn., home of the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Now, the movie has been transformed into a Broadway musical of the same name, and yes: Ned gets a story to tell, an emotional arc, and a big, soaring ballad called "Night Will Come." It's ... well, it's about death.


Katherine Sharpless said...

I'm kind of hesitant to really appreciate this show because it's so hard to remove myself from the original Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray I used to rent from blockbuster. I partly believe that these musicals, like Shrek, get done for the money and the movie ends up being recreated rather than the story. However, Matilda was a good adaption so we'll have to see. I listened to "Hope" from the new musical and it seemed like a pretty typical distress filled number- and I wonder how the suicide attempts and depressions can be displayed on stage. I remember in the movie there were a lot of cut scenes with Murray driving off a cliff, waking up in bed, and repeat. The pace of those moments and Murray's acting made it seem semi-comical- but that staging seems so hard to accomplish. Those attempts would be hard to be made anything but serious and tragic in a theater. I'm also curious to see how the love plot line changes, as mentioned in the article, but if that is given more attention why is the female lead cut out of the score? Maybe I'm not interested in this show after all.

Kelly Simons said...

This is so silly. I love it, obviously. Ground hog day is one of those weird movies that you have to watch and adore anyway. It is such an odd concept. I love the film, personally. And now since it is becoming a Broadway musical I feel prompted to see this show in person for myself, after rewatching the film a few times. It is kind of weird though, that the musical is out in 2017, when the film came out in the 90’s. I wonder if it was because the musical producers wanted to wait until the film had a bit more of a cult following? Or maybe it was just someone thought it would be a cool idea, and decided to write a musical, regardless of how old the source material is. I’m eager to see this show, especially with this stellar soundtrack from the original cast.