Two days ago, when responding to a tweet regarding a potential National tour of Groundhog Day, composer Tim Minchin stated that, unfortunately, plans for the tour had been scrapped.
An 18-month National Tour had been announced at the time of the show's closing, along with details of a potential revised London engagement. However, with Mr. Minchin's tweet, it's more than likely that both projects are off.
I find this to be sad for a lot of reasons. I know that the show had its flaws and detractors. But it had charm and marked a glimmer of hope of how Broadway, especially in casting, could evolve. Here you had a cast of performers playing roles that demanded their humanity and talent rather than their shape and color. I hope producers of future productions look at this cast as a textbook case of how diversity works.
In a year marked with so much negativity, the show also provided positive escapism that felt more needed than ever. If you're looking for hopeful messages, it doesn't get much better than, "Tomorrow there will be sun. But if not tomorrow perhaps the day after."
So while it looks like the professional run of Groundhog Day is over, I hope it has a strong second life in amateur and educational circles. There are some great messages in the piece and it allows for some fantastic performances younger performers would treasure playing.
So thank you, citizens of Punxsutawney, we hope to see you soon.
Photo: Joan Marcus