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Bill Murray Gets Emotional During Visit to ‘Groundhog Day’ Musical on Broadway

by Stacy Lambe 8:40 AM PDT, August 09, 2017
Bill Murray with Andy Karl, who plays Phil Connors, at the August Wilson Theatre after a performance of 'Groundhog Day.' Photo: Groundhog Day

To the delight of fans and cast alike, Bill Murray attended a performance of the Tony-nominated Groundhog Day, a musical adaptation of the 1993 film starring Murray and Andie MacDowell. 

He managed to enter the August Wilson Theatre in New York City on Tuesday night will relatively little fanfare. But once inside the lobby, Murray, who was accompanied by screenwriter (and book writer of the musical) Danny Rubin and his brother Brian Doyle-Murray, was soon spotted by fans -- and quickly ended up on social media. The New York Times, which tagged along during the actor’s first visit to the musical, reported that he was greeted with applause from the audience before the show started. 

By the time intermission came, ET has learned, Murray obliged adoring fans with selfies in the lobby.

At the end of the show, which tells the story of a local weatherman stuck repeating the same day over and over again in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Murray was seen wiping tears from his eyes during the curtain call. The actor then spent more than an hour onstage visiting with the musicians, crew and cast, including Andy Karl, who was nominated for a Tony for his portrayal of Phil Connors. 

Later, in a post on Instagram, Karl said Murray was “a true gentleman and as impossible as it seems, I love the guy even more now.” 

Bill Murray with Barrett Doss, who plays Rita Hanson, and Andy Karl at the August Wilson Theatre.  Photo: Groundhog Day

Murray is not the film’s only star to attend the Broadway production. In April, shortly after the show opened, MacDowell caught a performance while in town for the Tribeca Film Festival. Despite tearing his ACL during a preview performance less than a week prior, Karl was still able to perform -- much to the delight of the actress. “Andy was fantastic. He went from singing like a rock star to a choir boy,” she told ET shortly after attending the show. “I smiled the whole time.” 

Speaking to Groundhog Day’s legacy, which has only grown 24 years since its theatrical debut, MacDowell said the musical version “adds on to how great it was and what a beautiful movie it was.”

MORE: Why 'Groundhog Day' Star Andy Karl Won't Let a Torn ACL Slow Him Down

“It’s a great story about being a human, too, you know, getting it right,” she concluded.

In an interview with the Times, following the performance, Murray spoke of the story’s message and why it left him in tears. “The idea that we just have to try again. We just have to try again. It’s such a beautiful, powerful idea,” he said. 

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