Broadway’s somewhat recent and pervasive trend of repurposing recent-ish movies into kitschy tourist traps is something that should irritate me but doesn’t. Partly it’s because the concepts behind such movies as “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Big Fish” and “Legally Blonde” have loaned themselves so easily to the great white way but mostly it’s because I don’t really care about movies like “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Big Fish” and “Legally Blonde.” I do, however, care very much about “Groundhog Day.”
According to Vulture, Tim Minchin, the composer behind the recent Broadway hit “Matilda”, has teamed up with screenwriter Danny Rubin to give us a musical adaptation of “Groundhog Day”. Apart from the fact that it’s extremely difficult to imagine a version of “Groundhog Day” that doesn’t star Bill Murray (and to a slightly lesser extent Chris Elliott, Brian Doyle Murray and Stephen Tobolowsky), how do you adapt this concept for the stage? Would it just consist of constant reprises of “I Got You, Babe?” Minchin himself admits that “it would be impossible to translate the style and tone of the movie to [the] stage,” so why are we still bothering with this idea, exactly?
On the plus side, Minchin has noted that the play could be “on the stage within a couple of years” but might “get caught in a temporal vortex” before then, so there is a chance the whole thing could fall apart. Strangely, Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim kicked around the idea of a “Groundhog Day” musical a few years ago but ultimately gave up on the concept. Maybe Minchin and Rubin should follow Sondheim’s lead on this.