How Bill Murray Reacted To Seeing Broadway’s Groundhog Day Musical

Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

Bill Murray has had countless memorable roles on his resume, from Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters to the sullen business traveler Bob Harris in Lost in Translation. Murray's dark comedy Groundhog Day is memorable because of the turmoil that happened on set, as he and director Harold Ramis reportedly clashed often about how the movie should play out. All of this baggage might have affected Murray when he attended a performance of the musical Groundhog Day, currently playing on Broadway. Because according to reports, Murray was openly sobbing by the show's end. He told the cast, after the show:

It really killed me. ... It was really beautiful. You got me. You really got me. ... As actors, I can't respect enough how disciplined you are and how serving you are of the process. There's nothing worse than seeing someone that's out for themselves. And you are all in it for each other.

Bill Murray's reaction to the performance of Groundhog Day: The Musical was annotated by The NY Times, who chronicle the evening's emotional beats as Murray and his brother, Brian Doyle-Murray (who also had a role in the 1993 comedy), took in the show. They say he laughed along to one-liners in the opening act, and was visibly moved to tears by the ending. Murray even needed a minute to gather himself during the cheers that greeted the cast at the end of the show. Murray also was heard exclaiming "Wow" during Rebecca Faulkenberry's rendition of the song Playing Nancy. Listen to that track right here:

Groundhog Day, a 1993 comedy, stars Bill Murray as a conceited weatherman ordered to cover the annual ceremony of the groundhog seeing his shadow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Only, because of the shit way that he treats the townsfolk and his own crew, Phil (Murray) is forced to relive the day over and over until he corrects some cosmic mistakes. Reflecting on the power of the story to the NY Times, after the musical, Murray comments:

The idea that ... The idea that we just have to try again. We just have to try again. It's such a beautiful, powerful idea.

It has to be strange to see a character who you brought to life being used in a different format. Particularly if Murray had chosen to distance himself from Groundhog Day because of the difficulties that came with making the movie -- and the fact that Murray recently lost his friend and collaborator, Harold Ramis. Have you seen this show yet? Would you want to?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.