Could the dream team behind multi award-winning, all-over-the-globe hit Matilda – director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell – possibly strike gold again with their very next musical? Judging by reactions of the first batch of reviews for Groundhog Day, the answer is a resounding yes.
After five weeks of previews (since 11 July), the screen-to-stage adaptation of the hit 1993 film Groundhog Day had its world premiere last night (Tuesday 16 August) at the Old Vic Theatre, where Warchus is artistic director and the production now has a frustratingly short run until 17 September only ahead of a planned Broadway transfer.
The dream team is bolstered by Danny Rubin, Groundhog Day‘s original screenwriter, who has written the book. It stars American Andy Karl as Phil Connors, the cynical TV weatherman (immortalised onscreen by Bill Murray) who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities in smalltown Pennsylvania and becomes trapped in an endless timeloop where every day is Groundhog Day. The cast also features Carlyss Peer (as Rita Hanson, played by Andie Macdowell in the film) and Andrew Langtree (Ned Ryerson).
I’m going tonight and cannot wait! By the way, special shoutout to Time Out theatre editor Andrzej Lukowski for his very funny (four-star) review, in which he takes the musical’s theme of repetition as a literary challenge. Scroll down to read more…