The recently announced Groundhog Day musical is set to have its premiere at the Old Vic theater in London, UK, a report from RadioTimes can confirm. Sources indicate that the adaptation will be spearheaded by the production company behind the West End hit Matilda, which premiered in January 2011.
The musical will be based on the 1993 hit comedy Groundhod Day, which starred Bill Murray as Phil Connors; a down-on-his-luck local news reporter who is sent to Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania to cover a story. Connors eventually finds himself living the same day over and over again, unable to break from the cycle.
British dramatist Matthew Warchus – who recently took over from actor Kevin Spacey as the Old Vic’s creative director – said a film like Groundhog Day demands a larger audience.
It is really about how little time you have to become the best version of yourself…It’s sophisticated meaty stuff in a romantic comedy package…It needs a large audience and a large stage, and I wanted to start it in this country, so it’s the perfect match.
According to the BBC, comedian and composer Tim Minchin will be working alongside Warchus to bring the musical adaptation of Groundhog Day to life. Minchin – along with choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell – were paramount in the success of the company’s Matilda production.
As well as a musical version of Groundhog Day, Warchus is also planning to do productions of Jekyll & Hyde and Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, along with the works of Henrik Ibsen and Harold Pinter. This could indicate a change in artistic direction at the theater, with Warchus himself saying that the glamour will, “no longer come from the artistic director but the people on the stage.”
The artistic director also plans to introduce a new ticketing scheme which will see half of the seats at the first five premieres go on sale for £10 (approximately $14), adding that, “it’s not just about young people…We’ll be trying to guide or nudge those tickets to people who are new theater goers.”
Despite the change in direction, Warchus praised Kevin Spacey’s 11-year run, saying his work, “shone a great spotlight.”
You can’t overestimate what Kevin did. This was a theater that was about [to not] exist 12 years ago. He and [chief executive] Sally Greene saved the theater.
The musical adaptation of Groundhog Day will premiere at London’s Old Vic theater in June 2016 before moving on to Broadway.
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