Everyone’s favorite holiday has arrived: the one where we celebrate small, featureless animals, the possible end of winter, and an okay Bill Murray movie.
(Ed. Note: Groundhog Day is a masterpiece. Andie MacDowell is the perfect foil to Bill Murray, Chris Elliott delivers comedic excellence, and Michael Shannon appears for five seconds — and those five seconds are very good!)
As such, I’d just like to take this opportunity to remind you that your love for Groundhog Day doesn’t have to be limited to February 2nd. Soon, if you live in New York City or its surrounding areas or choose to spend your surplus income on bus fare, you will be able to see a stage musical based on the 1993 film.
Said musical is opening this April at the August Wilson Theatre. The book was written by Groundhog Day co-screenwriter Danny Rubin, and the music and lyrics were written by Tim Minchin. Minchin is not a household name yet, but he is a semi-famous Australian who also wrote the lauded musical Matilda and appears to be elbowing into the overtly sentimental, benignly kitschy musical theatre space that has been occupied by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the last three decades. That does not mean I don’t want to see his musicals, because musical theater is the crown jewel of all art forms and improves lives whenever it occurs. I’m just saying, it’s a little sappy.
musical theater is the crown jewel of all art forms
There was a point in time (2003), when Stephen Sondheim said that he would like to make the Groundhog Day musical, but he later retracted this saying that the movie was perfect and could not be improved upon. (Ed. Note: Sondheim is a genius and has excellent taste in film. He’s the Michael Shannon of musical theater composers.)
I understand this film is a beloved classic but I think there are probably some ways to improve upon it. For example, I don’t find it structurally necessary to the plot for Bill Murray’s character to make a snow sculpture of a woman’s face. Additionally, this movie is about a woman whose male workplace subordinate is deeply resentful of the fact that a woman is positioned above him in a corporate power structure... and then they fall in love! Room for growth in adaptation, in my opinion.
Anyway, Groundhog Day the musical sold out its entire run in London’s West End last year. The video above will give you a small taste of what it sounds like.
Here is a selection of the lyrics from the song. They’re real!
But I know now that I know
I know now that I know nothing
But I'm here
And I'm fine