April 21, 2017
By Dr. Leonard H. Golubchick LaborPress Entertainment Editor
Exhilarating as the Day Goes Round and Round
“Ground Hog Day” is the musical adaptation of the 1993 movie. The creative team which brought us ‘Matilda the Musical” brings us a wonderful experience as the star Andy Karl playing a cynical weatherman.
Phil Connors conquers his demons as he emotionally moves from a snarky reporter who lacks emotional intelligence to a person of caring and one that demonstrates empathy as he repeats groundhog day as if he was trapped in the twilight zone. His change is brought through finding true love. Every time he wakes up he repeats the day, February 2nd. Meanwhile Phil Connors’ love interest played by Barrett Doss demonstrates a quite lovely voice as she endures Phil’s Temperament and emotional journey.
Matthew Warchus the Director brings the show together to the delight of the audience while integrating the book by Danny Rubin and the Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin so with the continuous repetitious of the days we also see coherence in the monotony .
I was at the show on Friday night prior to the Monday opening when Mr. Karl injured his ACL. After 10 minutes Mr. Karl, in the tradition of Broadway “the show must go on” continued his role utilizing a cane. On Monday at the opening he utilized a black knee brace. This reminded me of Danny Kaye in 1970 in a show titled “Side by Side” who appeared in a wheel chair after injuring his leg. This is live Broadway and we have to be sensitive that things can happen to actors.
Andy Karl provides us with a Tony worthy performance. He is absolutely brilliant and does it all which brings humanity to a difficult role. After he and the show won the British equivalent of the Tony the Oliver, Mr. Karl’s stage presence and charisma carries the show.
I certainly would recommend the show for a fun evening but definitely keeping the show at an hour and a half would certainly be an enhancement.