Diary: Groundhog Day strikes again with Murray double bill

Andy Karl in Groundhog Day at the August Wilson Theatre, New York. Photo: Joan Marcus Andy Karl as Phil Connors in Groundhog Day on Broadway. Photo: Joan Marcus
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It’s deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra once said. While there is no shortage of extraordinary anecdotes about Bill Murray – not least the fact that he doesn’t have an agent or an email address, and only receives requests through a voicemail that he checks infrequently – this time, the star of Ghostbusters and Scrooged has outdone himself.

Last week, Murray was in the audience of Groundhog Day the Musical on Broadway. He, of course, appeared in the 1993 film, which follows local weatherman Phil Connors as he relives the same day over and over again.

In that movie Murray delivered a performance so consummate that not even Andie MacDowell could diminish the film’s brilliance, try as she might.

After watching the musical, Murray complimented the cast: he cried, he praised the production and the show’s team must have felt pretty chuffed to have received the blessing of Phil Connors himself.

So the Broadway cast went to bed, and woke up the next day, and did whatever actors do during the day, and got into their costumes, and stepped on to the stage, and cast their eyes into this new audience only to see… Bill Murray, again, watching the show, again.

But then that’s the quality of Murray: not strained, dropping into Broadway shows like some gentle rain from heaven, and leaving the cast and audience not once, but twice blessed with his presence. As Yogi Berra once said, it’s deja vu all over again.

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