Album Review: Groundhog Day (2017 Original Broadway Cast Recording)

“Nobody cares what I’m talking about”

It is rare that I feel so completely out of kilter with the general reception for a show to the extent that I did with Groundhog Day. The signs were all there for it being a new musical to thrill me but I was just bored rigid by it, thoroughly disappointed at what I found to be exceedingly dull. But that was definitely an outlying opinion as it received a raft of 5 star reviews, its Broadway run was secured and a return to London is guaranteed.

I didn’t get to revisit the show at the Old Vic, or rather I chose not to try and get another ticket through the general scrum, and so the release of the Original Broadway Cast Recording offered a useful opportunity to revisit Tim Minchin’s score and see if I was able to locate anything of what has worked so well for so many. And like my own personal groundhog day, the three times I listened to this album revealed nothing new to me – I just don’t like it!

Theatre World Awards 2016-2017

Carlo Albán – Sweat
Christy Altomare – Anastasia
Denée Benton – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Jon Jon Briones – Miss Saigon
Barrett Doss – Groundhog Day
Amber Gray – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Josh Groban – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Lucas Hedges – Yen
Raymond Lee – Vietgone
Eva Noblezada – Miss Saigon
Jeremy Secomb – Sweeney Todd
Cobie Smulders – Present Laughter

Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater: Katrina Lenk, Indecent and The Band’s Visit

John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Glenn Close

Special Theatre World Award: Dave Malloy for his Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 as an actor, composer, writer, lyricist, and orchestrator.

Barely-a-Review: You Can’t Take It With You, Longacre Theatre

“I know they do rather strange things. But they’re gay and they’re fun and I don’t know there’s a kind of nobility about them”

I had a perfectly good time at George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You – surprisingly so, given its old-fashioned comedic nature and the presence of the destroyer of Shakespeare James Earl Jones. Well why did I book, you might well ask. For Rose Byrne I would tell you (the first series of Damages is one of my utmost favourite pieces of television ever) and she was indeed great. Annoyingly though, I was quite under the weather that evening (apologies to anyone who the in the vicinity of my stifled spluttering – yes, I was that guy) but when on Broadway – for the first time too – what do you do? It’s not as if you can reschedule… And there’s nothing worse than being stuck in an audience of people laughing their heads off when you’re not quite feeling the same. It’s not to say I thought this was a bad show, it just wasn’t really my cup of tea.

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes (with interval)
Booking until 22nd February