The Best of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Groundhog Day The Musical

Groundhog Day The Musical: A Hilarious and Heart-Warming Triumph at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre

Fresh from its record-breaking season at London’s Old Vic, Groundhog Day The Musical has taken Melbourne by storm, making it the third city worldwide to host the musical, gracing the Princess Theatre with uproarious laughter and a touching storyline. Composed by the creative genius Tim Minchin, celebrated for his success with Matilda The Musical, is based on the iconic 1993 film by Danny Rubin.

The story follows the gloriously joyful and heart-warming journey of weatherman Phil Connors, impeccably portrayed by Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated star Andy Karl. Melbourne audiences are treated to Karl’s unmissable performance, praised by critics in London and New York as “bewitching,” “superb,” and “outrageously inventive.”

The narrative unfolds as Phil Connors finds himself trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day endlessly. What ensues is a riotous rom-com filled with hilarious moments and cleverly crafted transitions, showcasing sharp direction that keeps the audience engaged and entertained.

Elise McCann, as the quick-witted and kind-hearted television producer Rita Hanson, beautifully complements Karl’s performance. The chemistry between the two leads adds an extra layer of charm to the production.

The ensemble cast contributes to the overall spectacle with talent and enthusiasm. Each member plays a crucial role in bringing the story to life, contributing to the infectious joy that permeates the musical.

Set design by Rob Howell, known for his work on Matilda The Musical, is nothing short of spectacular. Particularly noteworthy is the clever recreation of montages illustrating the repetitiveness of Phil’s experience each Groundhog Day. The tricks that bring Phil Connors unexpectedly back on stage add an extra layer of entertainment, showcasing the creativity of the production team.

The musical isn’t just a comedy; it’s a touching exploration of empathy and personal growth. As Phil Connors navigates the challenges of his time loop, character development adds depth to the narrative. Minchin’s musical prowess, combined with Matthew Warchus’s direction, creates a seamless blend of humour and heart that resonates with the audience.

The production benefits from the expertise of choreographer Lizzi Gee, musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Simon Baker. Illusions by Paul Kieve and video/animation by Andrzej Goulding enhance the overall visual and auditory experience.

Groundhog Day The Musical is more than just a night of laughs; it’s an immersive journey that captivates with humour, and tugs at the heartstrings with its touching narrative.

For a night filled with laughter, heart, and theatrical brilliance, Groundhog Day The Musical at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre is an unmissable experience. Secure your tickets and step into the time loop for an evening of joy and reflection.

For more information or to book tickets, visit groundhogday.com.au

By Michael Kent

Photography by Jeff Busby