Set Malfunction Turns First Groundhog Day Performance Into A Concert

by Gianluca Russo

The theme of starting over was more prevalent than expected at the first preview of Groundhog Day on Broadway last week. While the cast was prepped and ready to blow the roof off the August Wilson Theatre, technical difficulties quickly brought the production to a halt about fifteen minutes into Act 1. According to the show’s stage management team, one of the musical’s central turntables stopped functioning. Those who know the movie can imagine how important the function of that turntable is. Without it, time can't repeat itself! 

After holding the performance for about 45 minutes (with free drinks for all audience members while they waited), producers had the choice to cancel the performance or find a way to keep going. The stellar cast, led by Broadway favorite Andy Karl, and the production team decided to perform the show concert-style without the set. Proving that the show must truly always go on, Groundhog Day’s first preview was a reminder of the inevitability of live theatre and the risk and joy that comes with it. 

P/S All ticket holders get to come back and see any preview for free. Phew!

Check out our friend @BroadwayGirlNYC's video of the producers making the announcement.

Banner image: Manuel Harlan