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Punxsutawney Phil will come up for air in early 2017.
Producers announced on Thursday that the new musical Groundhog Day, based on the Capra-esque 1993 screen comedy that starred Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, will begin previews on Jan. 23, 2017, with official opening set for March 9.
The project reunites much of the key creative team from Matilda, the acclaimed musical adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s novel, which has been a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, grossing $117 million to date in its Broadway run.
Director Matthew Warchus and composer-lyricist Tim Minchin will again be joined by choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell on the show. The book is by Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the Columbia Pictures film’s screenplay with director Harold Ramis, based on Rubin’s story.
The plot follows the mind-bending experience of misanthropic Pittsburgh TV weatherman Phil Connors, disgruntled at being sent to small-town Pennsylvania to cover the annual Groundhog Day event. When a blizzard prevents his return to the city, he gets caught in a time loop, replaying the same day over and over until he softens his cynical demeanor, befriending and helping everyone he meets over the course of the day.
In an earlier interview when his work on the project was first announced, Australian musician and cabaret star Minchin said, “Our version of Groundhog Day is going to be both instantly recognizable and utterly different.”
Press representatives were unable to confirm whether an out-of-town tryout or London engagement is in the works prior to Broadway. However, given that Warchus is due to take over from Kevin Spacey this fall as artistic director of London’s Old Vic, theater insiders are speculating that Groundhog Day may have its world premiere at that venue.
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