Bill Murray got the chance to relive one of his most memorable movie roles when he attended Tuesday night’s performance of “Groundhog Day” on Broadway.
The musical, based on Murray’s 1993 hit, opened on Broadway in April 2017 after a successful run in London’s West End, and according to a report in the New York Times Murray was his usual irrepressible self during the performance.
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Times writer Sopan Deb kept up a running commentary on Twitter, beginning by sharing a photo of Murray, his brother Brian Doyle-Murray and Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the film and wrote its stage adaptation.
Once inside the theatre, things became even more interesting, with the writer chronicling Murray’s antics, such as when he “decided to needlessly climb over a woman in a mostly empty row” in order to get to the bar and handing out Junior Mints to children during the intermission.
In Deb’s story for the Times, he recounts Murray giving the bartender a $50 tip for a bottle of water, and then telling him, “This is too much for a glass of water.”
Later, a member of the audience told Murray that he looked “taller and thinner.” Murray responded by saying, “Yeah, I’ve been working out.”
As Deb tweeted, Murray was in tears by the end of the show, sobbing as the actors took their bows, and he later went backstage to give accolades to the cast.
“As actors, I can’t respect enough how disciplined you are and how serving you are of the process,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than seeing someone that’s out for themselves. And you are all in it for each other.”
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He also offered some notes. “When you ever feel you don’t know what to do, sing to the person next to you,” Murray said. “And that person will sing to the person next to that person, and then you will have this force that’s even stronger.”
In an interview with Deb afterward, Murray explained why he continues to feel connected to “Groundhog Day”.
“The idea that we just have to try again,” he said. “We just have to try again. It’s such a beautiful, powerful idea.”
As for what “Groundhog Day” director Harold Ramis (who passed away in 2014) would have thought, Murray added: “I think he would’ve been flabbergasted. Brian and I are flabbergasted. It’s really something.”
After the show, Murray posed for photos with the cast:
And that wasn’t the end of it! Murray performed an encore when he showed up to Wednesday night’s show as well.