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‘Groundhog Day’ Musical’s Lead Actor Injured Days Before Broadway Opening

Variety logo Variety 4/15/2017 Gordon Cox
© Provided by Variety

The April 15 matinee of the previewing Broadway musical “Groundhog Day” has been cancelled after Andy Karl, the lead actor in the production, injured himself during the second act of the April 14 performance. The Saturday evening production will go on with understudy Andrew Call in the part, ahead of an imminent opening night that is scheduled for April 17.

Because the Friday evening performance had been designated a press preview, a number of critics and members of the press were in the auditorium. The injury occurred at about 10:30 pm Friday after a stunt in the song “Philanthropy.” Following a pause of about 15 minutes, Karl finished the show using a cane.

After the actor was taken to a doctor, Karl said in an Instagram post, “I have no broken bones but tweaked my knee after a poorly landed leap frog.”

The disruption, and the subsequent cancellation of a performance, come just as the clock is ticking on Tony season. Although a delay would seem the obvious course of action for “Groundhog Day,” producers don’t have much leeway: The eligibility cutoff for the 2016-17 Tony Awards is April 27, and eight other productions have staked out opening nights before then.

As of Saturday morning, the musical remained scheduled to open April 17, with Karl noting on social media that he planned to see another doctor before deciding when to resume performances.

It’s not the first time during its Broadway preview period that “Groundhog Day” has found itself in the news. Early during the first New York performance of the show, the set’s turntable stopped working due to a technical malfunction, and the cast finished the show in an impromptu, semi-stage reading format.

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