Belfast Telegraph

Bill Murray reduced to tears as he watches Groundhog Day musical for first time

Bill Murray spent an hour talking to the cast and crew of the Groundhog Day musical after watching the production for the first time on Tuesday night (08Aug17).

Bill Murray was reduced to tears as he watched the musical adaptation of his 1993 movie Groundhog Day on Broadway on Tuesday night (08Aug17).

The 66-year-old actor starred as weatherman Phil Connors in the film, who is left frustrated when he's made to repeat Groundhog Dog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, over and over again.

The film was adapted for the stage, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and the production first ran in London, before making its Broadway premiere in April at the August Wilson Theatre. It has since been nominated for seven Tony Awards, including best musical, best performance by a leading actor in a musical and best score, and the latest seal of approval came from Bill himself.

A representative for the actor told the New York Daily News that he was in the audience on Tuesday night and "cried a few times". He was joined for the night out by his actor brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, who played Buster in the film, and Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the screenplay for the film and the book for the musical.

A more detailed rundown of Bill's experience at the show was shared on Twitter by New York Times writer Sopan Deb, who began his running commentary of the evening by writing: "I am here at the August Wilson Theatre, where Bill Murray is about to watch the Groundhog Day musical for the first time. Dead serious."

As well as commenting that the actor had been given a "brief round of applause" by the audience, Sopan then confirmed Bill's emotional display at the conclusion of the production.

"The bows are happening. Murray is sobbing from what I can tell. I'm sitting right behind him," he wrote.

In his piece for the New York Times, Sopan wrote: "By the end of the performance, Mr. Murray was visibly sobbing... By the time the cast was bowing on stage, Mr. Murray was in tears. He waited a minute to compose himself before joining the rest of the audience to cheer the cast."

After the show, Bill made his way backstage where he spent around an hour chatting to the cast and crew.

According to Sopan, Bill told them: "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."

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