Groundhog Day Musical Review

I started joining Broadway lotteries and won our first one with Groundhog Day!

About the Lottery: Performances for a lot of the Broadways have a limited number of tickets sold via the lottery. You enter your name for usually the day of or next day performance and at a certain time there is an electric drawing and you find out whether you won or not. If you win the lottery, the tickets are not free but they are discounted pretty decently. For Groundhog Day it was $42 per ticket (and you get up to two). For reference, Hamilton is $10 per ticket. Apparently on average there are 10,000 entries per day for that one. For Groundhog Day, I was able to put entries in for multiple performances all at once whereas the others were one day at a time.

Link here:

About the Musical: In the role that won him the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Actor, Andy Karl plays Phil Connors—a disgruntled big-city weatherman mysteriously stuck in small-town America reliving the same day over and over and over again—with no consequences, no regrets, no tomorrows, and no hangovers. But once he starts getting to know associate TV producer Rita Hanson, he discovers it’s a day of second, third and fourth chances.” – Groundhog Day website synopsis

My thoughts: As for the performance, I was really glad that I never watched the movie because my boyfriend said it was exactly the same (plus the musical numbers, of course). Overall, the musical was one that ironically, I love listening to on repeat. I was impressed as to how the show was able to choreograph the same day over, and over, and over again while developing characters and keep pushing the story forward. At face value, the performance was funny, witty, and incredibly relatable.

But it was as profound and deep as it was fun. There are more obvious lessons in it, such as appreciating what you have and taking advantage of the opportunities that are afforded to you. But I also enjoyed a lot of the more subtle lessons that were to be had.

  • Playing Nancy – This number opened the second act where the character who was initially pursued by Phil Connors because she was beautiful. The lyrics portray her wishing she could be perceived as more, but the world she “chooses to live in is mostly run by men, so you take what you are given just to feel the love again”. She’s grateful for her good looks because there are “worse roles you can play” and “it’s better to be leered at, than not desired at all”. The end of the piece, she sings “Who am I to dream of better? To dream that one day I will be something more than just collateral in someone else’s battle? I will be something more than Nancy?”. With Nancy you realize not to judge a story by its cover and that we all have our battles, none more important than the other.
  • Night Will Come – There is a beautiful scene where Phil tries multiple times to save the life of a homeless man, but in the end does not succeed. As the scene progresses, his high school friend sings a song about embracing death. And it is sung by him because we learn in the second act, as Phil gets to know the residents of Punxsatawney more deeply, that his wife passed away. The beauty in this is that Phil learns the hard lesson that there are limits to our human ability to keep each other alive. And this transcends into the healthcare field where I’ve learned this lesson as well. It’s not a feature of being cold and jaded to a broken system but rather a realization that with life there is death, and we must embrace the time we have alive.
  • Groundhog Day Gala scene, one of the last ones of the show, many of the residents couple up and it’s as diverse as you can get. Two men, Caucasian woman and Indian man, and more. Of course, theater has historically been a safe haven for expression of these “controversial” things, but I enjoyed that it came out in the show.

I loved the show and will continue to listen to the soundtrack to learn the words. In general, I enjoy listening to soundtracks of musicals because many of the numbers have multiple characters singing different lines at the same time so each time I listen I can focus on a different character and it supplements the story.

I hope you found this review helpful and decide to watch the show, yourself! Check out the lottery if you can, and let me know what your thoughts were if you were able to see it.


Other reviews: 

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