Groundhog Day The Musical
Tim Minchin's stage musical version of the 90s film favourite is finally looking for a shadow in Australia.
December 20, 2023
It's Groundhog Day The Musical — and it's finally making its way to the Australian stages ten years after it was first announced. Back in 2014, Australian comedian, musician, actor and writer Tim Minchin (Upright) revealed that he was making a song-filled onstage version of the Bill Murray-starring classic comedy. Then, the end result premiered in London in 2016. Next came Broadway in 2017, with 2024 marking Australia's turn. Prepare for plenty of déjà vu in Melbourne from January.
Feeling like you've been there and seen this comes with the territory with this production, of course, given that that's what the story is all about. Obviously, you've probably seen the film. In fact, you've likely done so more than once. Still, when Groundhog Day The Musical hits Princess Theatre from Wednesday, January 24, this'll be Aussie theatregoers' first chance to catch the stage show on home soil.
The tale remains the same, with Pittsburgh TV weatherman Phil Connors tasked with travelling to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover the annual Groundhog Day event — and none too happy about it, oozing cynicism as everyone else around him embraces the occasion. After a cantankerous day, he wakes up the next morning to find that everything is repeating again. And, that's how every day continues, no matter what he does or how he tries to tinker with the cycling routine.
On the big screen (and on VHS and streaming queues since), the result proved hilarious, and also one of Murray's best-ever roles. For the stage iteration, Minchin teamed up with screenwriter Danny Rubin — who originally co-wrote Groundhog Day's movie script and won a BAFTA in the process — plus Minchin's Matilda The Musical director Matthew Warchus. Their theatre efforts earned Groundhog Day The Musical Tony Award nominations, as well Olivier Award wins for Best New Musical and Best Actor.
Yes, Groundhog Day The Musical's Australian-premiere season runs across Groundhog Day itself, aka February 2. Yes, you can listen to Sonny and Cher's 'I Got You Babe' on repeat now to celebrate. And yes, like the musical version of Matilda, this'll likely return to the big screen at some point — but after the Melbourne season.
Groundhog Day The Musical comes Down Under exclusive to the Victorian capital — and if you're wondering who'll step into Murray's (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) shoes, and Andie MacDowell's (Maid) as Phil's producer Rita Hanson, too, that'd be Andy Karl returning to the former after doing the honours in London, plus Elise McCann (Matilda The Musical) as the latter.
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