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Bill Murray Relived Groundhog Day Again at the Broadway Musical — and Cried

People logo People 8/9/2017 Dave Quinn
Bill Murray in Groundhog Day © Everett Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

Bill Murray returned to Groundhog Day… again.

On Tuesday, the 66-year-old comedian went back in time — taking in a performance of Groundhog Day,the Broadway musical based on his hit 1993 movie about a cranky TV weatherman who gets stuck in a time warp while covering the Groundhog Day ceremonies in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and is forced to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

It was Murray’s first time seeing the musical, which was nominated for seven 2017 Tony awards and took home London’s Olivier Award for Best Musical. And according to reports from The New York Times, it was an emotional outing for Murray — who was said to be “visibly sobbing” at the end of the performance.

What brought him to tears? “The idea that we just have to try again,” Murray told The Times, describing the story’s main message. “We just have to try again. It’s such a beautiful, powerful idea.”

Bill Murray © Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic Bill Murray

He likely wasn’t the only one who broke down Tuesday night.

After being greeted with a round of applause upon his entrance into the August Wilson Theater, fans in the audience flocked to the Saturday Night Live alum with photo requests at intermission and after the show.

Murray graciously posed for photos, The Times said — offering one liners and even sharing his Junior Mints with two young boys. He was just as generous with the bartenders, tipping $50 on a water while asking, “This is too much for a glass of water?”

There were jokes throughout, of course. When one audience member told him he looked “taller and thinner,” Murray reportedly responded, “Yeah, I’ve been working out.” 

A post shared by ydobonm'l (@tiann) on Feb 3, 2011 at 5:28am PST

Not Luke Skywalker, but still pretty cool. #philphilconnors #billmurray #groundhogday #ghd #punxsutawney #broadway #nyc #augustwilson #caddyshack #theman #giddyup

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Afterwards, Murray went backstage — where he mingled with cast members, including Tony nominee Andy Karl, who plays Murray’s role of Phil Connors.

Accompanied by his brother, Brian Doyle-Murray (who played Buster in the movie) and Danny Rubin (who co-wrote film’s screenplay and the musical’s book), Murray also posed for photos with the cast.

Bill Murray, Andy Karl and Barrett Doss © Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic Bill Murray, Andy Karl and Barrett Doss Then he gave them some advice. “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.”

“As actors, I can’t respect enough how disciplined you are and how serving you are of the process,” he added. “There’s nothing worse than seeing someone that’s out for themselves. And you are all in it for each other.”

Bill Murray and the cast of Groundhog Day © Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic Bill Murray and the cast of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day opened on Broadway in April after premiering at the Old Vic in London the summer prior.

The musical features a score by Tim Minchin, who reunited with the Matilda scene and costume designer (Rob Howell), choreographer (Peter Darling) and director (Matthew Warchus) for the project.

The film was directed by the late Harold Ramis — with whom Murray famously clashed during filming and did not speak to for decades after. Asked what Ramis would think of the musical, Murray told The Times, “I think he would’ve been flabbergasted. Brian and I are flabbergasted. It’s really something.”

Murray isn’t the first Groundhog Day alum to attend the musical. In April, Andie MacDowell (who played Rita in the film) attended the show — also posing for photos with the cast backstage.

Related slideshow: 25 stage musicals based on movies (via Entertainment Weekly)  Lion King: Now in its 20th year on Broadway, The Lion King first came to audiences as a film. The Disney movie hit theaters in June 1994 and was adapted for Broadway just a few years later. In its first year of Tony eligibility, The Lion King nabbed awards for Best Musical, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Lighting Design, and Best Scenic Design. Buy tickets here. 25 Stage Musicals Based on Movies

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