In honor of the only official holiday named after a rodent, we’d like to remind you that there is, right this very minute, a Groundhog Day musical being created by Matilda composer Tim Minchin. Based on the awesome Bill Murray comedy of the same name, the new musical has the potential to be equally great—as long as it nails a few key moments in the story. Pour yourself a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist and let’s dissect the top five scenes we can’t wait to see on stage.
EVERY NED RYERSON SCENE
No Groundhog Day musical would be complete without a giant dance extravaganza led by our favorite life insurance salesman, Ned "the Head" Ryerson. (Am I right? Or am I right, or am I right?) We propose a little ditty called "Watch Out For That First Step (It's a Doozy)," sung by Ned and a bunch of perky Punxsutawney townsfolk in tap shoes, splashing around in icy sludge puddles a la Singing in the Rain. Bing!
PHIL’S MISERABLE WEATHER FORECAST
Once it’s become clear to Phil that he’s living in a Groundhog Day time warp, he gets a teeny bit jaded, which is the perfect time for a rebellious punk-rock tune (punk-rock for Broadway, anyway) in the style of Spring Awakening's "Totally F*cked." Also, it's a great excuse for Phil to curse and smash things. Sing it with us! "Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah..."
“I’M A GOD (NOT THE GOD)”
Shows about God do great on Broadway (The Book of Mormon, anyone?) so when Phil gets the epiphany that he's a god (not the God, a god), we suggest a big, flashy gospel number. The diner patrons could put on glittering choir robes, jump up on the counter and sing Hallelujah. (Broadway fun fact: scroll to 1:09 for a quick Michael Shannon cameo. Yep, that's him!)
THE GROUNDHOG HEIST
When Phil the Groundhog goes on a joyride, he's gotta be played by a puppet. Let's get some of the Avenue Q creators on board (almost-EGOT winner Bobby Lopez, we're looking at you) to help Minchin write an irreverent Phil-and-Phil duet. And if they want to get really fancy, the actor who plays Phil could man the groundhog puppet and do a duet with himself—hear that, Tony voters?
Once Phil stops trying to convince Rita (Andie MacDowell) he's a good guy and starts actually being a good guy, everything changes. He's smooth, he's friendly, he can play the piano, this dude has everything. It's the perfect time for a sweeping, romantic showstopper a la West Side Story. "Phil Connors... I just met a guy named Phil Connors..."