Sad news this morning. Famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerged from hibernation in Pennsylvania and saw his shadow, which means there are six more weeks of winter.
But there’s good news! To ease the blow, the new Broadway musical Groundhog Day—starring Tony Award nominee Andy Karl—is doing the unprecedented: giving away the first preview performance on March 16. (Which is, coincidentally, also six weeks away.)
To repeat, the show is giving away the first preview at the August Wilson Theatre!
To enter for a pair of tickets, fans simply need to “Like” the musical’s official Facebook page, fill out the entry form, and then receive an email confirmation. The sweepstakes closes on February 17. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email on February 21.
First previews are one of the most anticipated of Broadway events, attracting fans eager for that coveted first glimpse of the next smash. After winning critical raves in London last summer, Groundhog Day quickly became one of the most buzzed-about arrivals of the spring season. This unprecedented sweepstakes offers fans an exclusive first look at the show that The Times of London calls “so much fun it should be illegal.”
Based on the iconic 1993 film, the musical re-imagines the tale of a cranky big-city weatherman named Phil Connors, stuck in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the Groundhog Day events. But when he wakes up the next morning to discover he’s stuck reliving the same day over and over and over again, he realizes he’ll also be stuck repeating the same mistakes unless he changes his whole outlook on life.
Andy Karl reprises the role of Phil, after earning praise in the London premiere. Karl first gained notice in his scene-stealing role as a head-turning UPS man in Legally Blonde the Musical. He quickly became a Broadway favorite, earning his first Tony nomination as the lead in the 2014 musical version of Rocky. He earned his second Tony nomination, and displayed his top-drawer comedic chops, as Kristin Chenoweth’s hilariously preening boytoy in the 2015 revival of On the Twentieth Century.
Now, he takes the lead once again in Groundhog Day, in a pitch-perfect portrayal that, according to Ben Brantley of The New York Times, “transforms Andy Karl into the top-of-the-heap musical star he has long deserved to be.”
Brantley went on to rave about the musical, cheering, “I grinned all the way through this bright whirligig of a show.”
The musical reteams the brilliant minds behind the hit Matilda The Musical, including Tony Award-winning director Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage), and composer and lyricist Tim Minchin. Danny Rubin, who penned the original screenplay, wrote the musical’s book.
Warchus was immediately drawn to the material. “With its darkness-into-light, night-to-day, winter-to-spring structure,” he says, “and its underlying theme of how we might aim to be the best version of ourselves in the little time we have, I’d go so far as to say it touches on the profound.”
Tim Minchin reemphasizes, “The beautiful thing about the story is that it’s deep and not deep at the same time, funny and light, and a romantic comedy, but deeply profound. There are plenty of subjects to write songs about.”
Now, over 800 lucky people will be among the first in New York to see Groundhog Day…for free. They just have to go to the show’s Facebook page,and ‘”Like” it. That’s good news to share again and again and again.