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Groundhog Day Comes to a Close

by Elizabeth Casolo

For many Broadway fans, September 17 marked the end of an era: the brilliantly witty production, Groundhog Day. Although this classic movie re-make was only performed for five months on Broadway, it made quite a remarkable impact on audiences.

As someone who did not originally have a desire to see this show, I was surprised with the characterization and comically relatable lines that captivated the crowd. Andy Karl plays pessimistic weatherman, Phil Connors, who is forced to relive this iconic small town holiday hundreds of times. Some see Groundhog Day as a way to adorably recognize a little Pennsylvania town through an old superstition. However, Connors views it as a way for all of the Punxsutawney hopefuls to get their faces on T.V. After brutally disrespecting his co-workers and Punxsutawney citizens, Connors becomes trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle of reliving the same day.

Despite the refreshing spin on the ‘90’s film, Groundhog Day did maintain an archetypal curmudgeon-turn-hero story similar to A Christmas Carol. The relentlessly honest and rude main character learns to love others; thus, he obtains the role as the primary protagonist. On the other hand, this common structure does make quite a compelling and emotionally-driven production. Scenes include Connors literally going on (and failing!) fifty first dates, attempting to resuscitate a sickly homeless man, and many more heart-wrenching moments

Unfortunately, though, the plot, clever casting, and humorous script were not sufficient. The principal reason why this show no longer qualifies for its spot at the August Wilson Theatre is its loss to Dear Evan Hansen for the Best Musical Tony Award. Despite this, the show did receive many other Tony Award nominations. With that being said, the performance was loved by critics and viewers alike, and there is no need to worry if you missed the brief time it was played on Broadway. Groundhog Day will tour nationally for the next 18 months, and talk of another round of performances in the U.K. is also happening.

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