Things seemed to be running smoothly at the April 14 performance of Broadway’s new musical Groundhog Day, currently in previews at the August Wilson Theatre.
But, about two-thirds of the way through the second act, lead actor Andy Karl—who recently won the Olivier for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in the London engagement of the show—sustained an onstage injury. According to a Playbill news staffer who was in the audience during the performance, as Karl and a female castmate climbed a ladder downstage left during the number "Philanthropy," some staging went awry and the show was stopped.
A stage manager communicated to the audience over the theatre’s sound system that the show would be stopped momentarily and asked for any doctors in attendance to report to house management. As the show’s ensemble exited the stage, a call for ice could be heard from backstage.
About five minutes later, the stage manager spoke again on the sound system, announcing that there was a minor injury backstage and that the show would resume after approximately five minutes. Five to ten minutes later, the performance continued.
At Karl’s next entrance as weatherman Phil Connors (the role made famous by Bill Murray in the 1993 film), he walked onstage using a cane. Karl finished the show in great spirits, adding in a couple of ad-libbed jokes about his fall. He was visibly emotional through the end of the production and, particularly, during his final bow.
This was not the first time the show had been stopped during preview performances, but it is the first time the show was halted due to a performer injury.
A spokesperson for Groundhog Day confirmed Karl was taken to see a doctor following the performance.
Stay tuned to Playbill.com for updates.