"Groundhog Day" is a favorite film of many comedy lovers. Bill Murray plays a weatherman who becomes stuck in an endless loop of repeated days in a small, Pennsylvania town. The movie suffers from a few flaws, but works well because of Murray's tenacious performance. When a Broadway Musical was announced, it was fair to wonder what it would contribute to the "Groundhog Day" lore and if it would be able to survive without a star. The answers: 'not much' and 'not really.'

About the musical

After debuting at The Old Vic in London, "Groundhog Day" debuted on Broadway on April 17, 2017.The music and lyrics come from Tim Minchin ("Matilda"), while the book comes from Danny Rubin, who worked on the movie as well.

The musical stars Andy Karl (Rocky from "Rocky the Musical") as weatherman Phil Connors.

Phil has to cover the Groundhog Day festivities in the town of Punxsutawney, much to his dismay. He can't quite escape the town, however, as a snowstorm closes the roads. Then he really can't escape. as he begins living the day over and over again in an endless loop. At first, his chauvinistic instincts kick in, before he descends into lunacy. Phil must discover his inner humanity to end his forever torment.

No need to relive "Groundhog Day"

The best part of "Groundhog Day" was the humor. Each scene featured laughs or gags, mostly at the hands of minor company characters. Not every moment was uproarious, but the comedy did the trick of sparking some life in this musical. There were also a couple of really awesome visual illusions in the second half; some audience members are surely still trying to figure them out.

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Beyond that, saving graces were few and far between. Andy Karl suffered an injury during previews for the musical, so Andrew Call took his place in the lead role. The show didn't seem any worse for the substitution - Call knew how to play a character with little moral fortitude. But the character shifts in the show seem rather sudden and forced by the constrictions of the modern musical - that's a sign of problematic writing.

The fatal flaw that hinders the movie destroys the musical. Watching the same exact events unfold over and over again can be boring at best and grating at its worst. In this case, it's definitely the latter. It's obviously the focal point of the shot, but it plays out in such a frustrating fashion that it makes it easier to memorize a script as an audience than to care about the characters.

The music bore the brunt of the problem. There was a lack of creativity stemming from most of the songs, which rode on the sentiment that small town spirit rises from the nasal cavity.

Additionally, each song seemed to stem on for WAY longer than need be. Each song was almost like the "Groundhog Day" of songs.

There were also moments of the musical where weird and unnecessary characters were highlighted. When Act 2 opened, a whole song was dedicated to Nancy, the town beauty who played a bit role in Act 1 and didn't play any role after this song; what was the point of that? And then Ned, the insurance salesman, sang his own song - what was that all about?

Final thoughts

"Groundhog Day" is critically acclaimed and nominated for a string of Tony Awards, to be handed out this week. "Best Musical," "Best Book," "Best Score," and "Best Actor" are among the nominations. While it's impossible to speak to the latter without having seen Andy Karl perform, the show must go on for the other three. It's hard to see them earning any of those awards. The film should've been left alone.

Rating: C