Andy Karl in Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Theatre
Though this year is bringing numerous new musicals like the stage version of Aladdin and Sheridan Smith’s new project Funny Girl, one of the most interesting shows coming to the capital this year is Groundhog Day, the adaptation of the popular film of the same name.
Though its arrival at the Old Vic Theatre has been known for some time, this week brings word on one the name taking on the lead role and the dates it is due to play.
Andy Karl has been revealed as the performer set to portray Phil Conners, the role originally played by Bill Murray in the film version, and he will star under the direction of Matthew Warchus from July to September 2016.
US actor Andy Karl has appeared in some of the biggest musicals on Broadway, many of which will be familiar to West End audiences as well, including Jersey Boys at the August Wilson Theatre, Legally Blonde The Musical at the Palace Theatre and Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre.
His career has also included performances in Rocky The Musical at the Winter Garden Theatre and a US touring version of Cats. So he will be bringing plenty of experience to London when he adds Groundhog Days to his list of appearances.
Groundhog Day follows the character of Phil Connors, a weatherman heading to Punxsutawney to cover the ceremonies there on the big day. He thinks he’s above it all, however, finding the practice of determining the arrival of spring to be a waste of time. But celestial forces will make him see the errors of his ways as a timeloop causes him to repeat the same day again and again and again. During this time he reaches the peak of clinical depression, learns new skills and finds both compassion and love.
The original film was directed by Harold Ramis and was penned by Ramis and Danny Rubin, the latter of whom returns to provide the book for this musical. Meanwhile, Matilda The Musical fans will be happy to see Tim Minchin come back to musical theatre as he provides the music and lyrics.
Audiences can look forward to Groundhog Day when it runs at the Old Vic Theatre this summer.