Navigating Your Way Through …. Groundhog Day

As one might expect, with all the hype about the new, 7 Tony Award nominated musical , which just won an Olivier Award for Best Musical, I was expecting excellence from the new Tim Minchin show.  However, from the commencement of the show, after the poorly composed opening number, I was genuinely disappointed throughout Saturday’s performance of Groundhog Day. The music was childish, annoying and simplistic. This is quite surprising when comparing the score to Matilda, whose lyrics seemed to be wittier. The jokes were not funny, and I do not recall laughing throughout this production.

The show primarily focuses on the protagonist, his issues, and the fact that he relives Groundhog Day, February 2nd, continuously. Thus, the structure of the show is repetitive. If the music was enjoyable, and the cast members were presented in more elegance, it may have been somewhat more enjoyable listening to the same words on a continuous basis, however this was not the case. The songs, dialogue and costumes all lack any sense of thrill, excitement and originality.  The humor was inane , which made me question what audience the production is tending to gravitate towards. Regardless, it did not resonate with me on any level.

Andy Karl delivered the role of the arrogant weather reporter in an expected manner, and I have been very fond of his career path. Not many standouts in this performance.

The only idea which resonated with me, was the notion of existentialism, which was conveyed throughout the plot, and dialogue. Karl successfully explored this idea throughout, with his internal conflicts and frustration. The scenery was simplistic, but it seemed to work. The idea of the revolving platform and stage, was used as a device to enhance the theme of existentialism, which was a clever touch by the set designers and director.

To get cheap seats, visit the box office, at the August Wilson Theater on 52nd street. I managed to get $39 tickets, for the very back of the mezzanine, however, asked the usher if it was possible to move downstairs, and was relocated to the rear stalls.


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