Broadway Groundhog Day Musical May Be in Jeopardy

News   Broadway Groundhog Day Musical May Be in Jeopardy
 
It's the latest project from Matilda composer Tim Minchin.
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Groundhog Day, the new musical from Matilda composer Tim Minchin, may not make it to Broadway in January 2017, as previously announced, according to The New York Post.

The withdrawal of deep-pocket co-producer Scott Rudin has put that date in jeopardy. Post columnist Michael Riedel quoted an unnamed “veteran New York producer” saying, “Scott was the force that was getting it here. Without him — or his money — I bet it goes to the West End first. And, then, depending on how it does, New York a few years from now.”

As it happens, the $16.5 million show was already scheduled to go to London first. The latest development continues the fallout for the production, which saw two shadows June 6.

First, the show announced that it was canceling its first three planned previews this summer. It was supposed to have begun July 11 at London's Old Vic, but will now play its first preview July 14. Unspecified “technical requirements” were cited as reason for the change.

Second, the aforementioned Broadway producer Rudin (Shuffle Along…) withdrew from the project, according to The New York Times. In a statement to the Times, Rudin indicated that he was “not satisfied with his ability to influence the evolving show.” Rudin already has a full Broadway dance card this coming season. He is producing revivals of The Front Page and Hello, Dolly!

Rudin was quoted saying, “The production in New York is going to be a transfer of the London production, which is not how we had originally conceived the project when I joined it.”

The Post quoted director Matthew Warchus as saying of Rudin, “We had an elegant separation based on nothing other than having different expectations and different ways of tackling things. I think we were probably stopping each other being at our best. He remains a kind of genius in my mind.”

Groundhog Day, which has music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and book by Danny Rubin (who co-scripted the 1993 film of the same name with Harold Ramis), recently confirmed full casting for the production, which is still scheduled to have its official opening August 16, for a run through September 17.

Broadway actor Andy Karl — who was last seen on Broadway in On the Twentieth Century, for which he was Tony-nominated, and previously played the title role in Rocky — stars as Phil Connors, a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the Groundhog Day event in the small town of Punxutawney, PA, where he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again… and again.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7628 or visit Oldvictheatre.com.

(Updated June 22, 2016)

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