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Hi all,

It seems that our wee secret has leaked: I’m working on a stage musical adaptation of the iconic and brilliant Danny Rubin script, Groundhog Day. Danny himself is writing the ‘book’, I’m writing music and lyrics, and Matthew Warchus (of Matilda fame) is directing.

For the handful of you who’ve never seen the film (philistines!), Groundhog Day is about a cantankerous weatherman who is sent to a small town to do a weather report, and gets stuck in a time loop, living the same day over and over again until – eventually – he figures out how to be less of a miserable, egotistical git. It’s about selflessness and acceptance and love and time and life and death and all that good stuff.

The 1993 Sony Pictures film was directed by Harold Ramis and starred Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, and is a true comedy classic. However, it would be impossible to try to translate the style and tone of the movie to stage… and even if it were possible, it wouldn’t interest me. (Or Danny or Matthew, for that matter).

Our version of Groundhog Day is going to be both instantly recognizable, and utterly different.

The central conceit is perfectly suited to the theatre, in my opinion. In fact, I think many of its ideas could be enhanced by the stage. It has the potential to be complex, dark, visually fascinating, and thematically rich, whilst still being a joyous romantic comedy with cool tunes and lots of gags. It’s certainly not an easy job, and I’m truly honoured – and genuinely excited – that Danny is letting me have a crack at it.

The idea of a Groundhog Day musical is not new; famously, Stephen Sondheim was rumoured to be working on the idea five or ten years ago. I’ve actually spoken to him about it (he is – if you’re wondering – a brilliant, witty, charming man), and the truth is he was only ever tossing the idea around. It got put on the back burner, and he is now happy that we’re making a go of it. We have Steve’s blessing – and it’s a blessing I value enormously.

So, we’re aiming for a workshop sometime towards summer, and hopefully we’ll have it on stage within a couple of years. But who knows? Maybe the whole project will get caught in a temporal vortex and we won’t be able to finish writing it until we’ve achieved wisdom.

Either way, you won’t hear any more about it from us until we know where and when we’re going to put it on. Back to work!

tx

PS I actually played two of the ballads from GhD at Koko in Camden a few weeks ago. Not sure whether, out of context, they meant anything to those of you who were there, but I hope you enjoyed them. I suspect some of you guessed the project ages ago anyway!

Leave a Comment

28 Comments

Donna Keen on 8th of May 2014

Oh no…please don’t wait until we achieve wisdom. I’ll be dead by then!

Tammy Czelder on 7th of May 2014

Terribly excited. You’re a genius. can’t wait

Mike on 20th of February 2014

Tim
I hate you !
You are an amazing singer and piano player and…..
You are extremely funny.
Are you crap at anything?
Ps I love you

CARLOS BELL on 18th of February 2014

When Tim sings Rock’n'roll nerd is wrong because a lot of people will hear his songs and will love them!

bob on 5th of February 2014

What a wonerfull man he is with his willing musicals .will there be any auditions for my daughter if yes were kind regards .

Les Smith on 24th of January 2014

I’m really looking forward to hearing this.
It does sound like a great idea, but it’ll be hard to keep it from being a bit repetitive.

louise gregory on 24th of January 2014

You certainly picked a good film i would of loved you to make Scrooged into a musical.
ps when are you touring again? i have saved and saved some money so i can buy tickets to see you in the north-west of England soon please xxxxx

Victoria Jackson on 20th of January 2014

You’re a bloody genius – just watched you on the comedy channel in oz – sorry I took so long to find you – and at long last when I say it feels like groundhog day, people will know what the hell I am talking about!

Rick Bellairs on 16th of January 2014

The movie was filmed in Woodstock, IL 60 miles NW of Chicago. We have a full weekend of festivities planned for Groundhog Day. Danny Rubin who wrote the screenplay will be special guest. See our events at http://www.WoodstockGroundhog.org

"PIANO STUDENT" on 15th of January 2014

I’ll be awaiting your call… ;) Love, Angela

Lots of luv on 14th of January 2014

Bless the person(s) who leaked the good news! Fans are excited!

kb on 14th of January 2014

can’t wait for the Ned Ryerson soliloquy

Ros Blyth on 13th of January 2014

Heard the ballads at KOKO and were enthralled. Could tell that you were so excited about this new project. When launched, it had better come to London! You really do get better and better!

Have just seen Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd doc. and found it honest and heartfelt and am overwhelmed at the rocket blast to success you’ve had since your breakthrough at Edinburgh (not without saying though, that I think Sarah is as much of a star as you, for you to have achieved so much in so little time).

So, back to work, and good luck and we will wait in anticipation! r x

Ruairi on 13th of January 2014

YES! This is beautiful, brilliant news. Tim is a truly ingenious artist and creator – everything he touches (and he’s touched a lot of things) seems to turn to gold.

Matilda was a modern-day triumph, and how fitting that Sondheim has given his blessing to this latest project – Matilda has often been compared to Sondheim’s work in terms of its ingenuity and depth.

Yes yes yes. Go Tim.

Jan on 13th of January 2014

I love Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray…A musical with a groundhog , can’t wait…awesome, j

Jason on 13th of January 2014

I think you have the perfect scientific, comedic, cynical personality that could pull off the lead role. Have you considered being Phil the weatherman, Tim?

Janelle on 13th of January 2014

Such brilliant news. I predict the part of Ned Ryerson is going to be more coveted as a comic character than Monsieur Thenadier. ZING!

Annette on 12th of January 2014

Please please please bring the finished project over to the americas…we need a lot of things but the thing we need most is…MORE TIM! Love you!

Steve b on 12th of January 2014

First of all, you earned the “crack at it” through your amazing work on Matilda. I have used GhD as a teaching tool for its intrinsic plot value – you are the perfect choice for this re-creation

Suzanne on 12th of January 2014

I got to hear one of the Koko songs a few days after and it was beautiful as a stand alone (On and on were the lyrics, piano reminded me of a music box). Tracked it down again last night and listened with an eye towards GhD. Wow.

It is wonderful that you’ve had the opportunity to talk to Stephen Sondheim. He’s the master of crafting songs for things you never thought would work in a musical! :)

Karen on 12th of January 2014

Fantastic news Tim, I am one of the handful that has seen the film and if anyone can play a miserable, egotistical git its Bill Murray. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.. Can you please bring “Matilda” to the west midlands, getting to London to watch it is just too bloody expensive.
There are plenty of venues to pick from, go on you know you wanna…..

Teresa on 12th of January 2014

How do I audition? I seriously can’t wait.

olanoo on 12th of January 2014

The songs you played at Koko were beautiful and this news is very exciting, although the film drives me a little mad- just one too many repetitions of the timeline probably due to my sensory processing disorder going haywire (issues with unpredictable repetitive pattern variations!)

Good luck with it all and everything else going on at the moment!
:-) O

Caroline on 12th of January 2014

The ballads played at Koko were beautiful. If they’re just the starting point, the completed musical will be wonderful. Hope it comes to London…..

MkH on 12th of January 2014

This is a-ma-zing news. Any idea from the mind of the musical talent that can write ‘School Song’, a hysterical, clever and 3 minute idea-cramming number, combined with the vision of the man that starts a musical by presenting the audience with a ‘blank slate’ to signify birth and school, now working with the witty mind of the original script writer and a story that has the potential to show so much on stage, with a large dollop of comedy to boot. What a bloody fantastic combination. Cannot wait.

MARTIN on 12th of January 2014

WHAT A JOYOUS DAY THIS IS… WE ARE TRULY BLESSED TO HAVE TIM

Leah on 12th of January 2014

What wonderful, delightful, bubbly, delicious news. Blessed by Stephen Sondheim! Surely there is no higher honour in all the universe! xx

sandra on 12th of January 2014

You Go GIRL!!!

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