On Tuesday, Bill Murray attended the Broadway musical Groundhog Day, based on the hit 1993 comedy in which he originally starred, and it was every bit as amazing as you would imagine.
New York Times writer Sopan Deb documented the entire event, first live tweeting the evening before composing the account into a full article.
Bill Murray Attends Groundhog Day
Murray just got a brief round of applause.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 8, 2017
It's intermission. Murray let out a fist pump during the show when Phil Connors meets Ned Ryerson for the first time.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 9, 2017
Now taking selfies and sipping a beer in the lobby. Murray just gave two children junior mints.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 9, 2017
The bows are happening. Murray is sobbing from what I can tell. I'm sitting right behind him.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 9, 2017
Bill Murray being VERY gracious with his time. Staying well after to take pictures with everyone.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 9, 2017
Murray attended the show with brother and Groundhog Day co-star Brian Doyle-Murray, as well as the film’s co-screenwriter Danny Rubin.
According to Deb, Murray “exhibited a range of emotions throughout the night,” and was “visibly sobbing” by the end of the performance.
Well before the curtain call, Murray spent his time in the August Wilson Theater graciously obliging fans’ selfie requests, leaving bartenders $50 tips, and sharing his Junior Mints with a couple of very lucky kids. Just your average Tuesday night for the comedy legend.
During the show, Murray bobbed his head, guffawed, pumped his fists, and yelled out “wow,” clearly loving every second of the musical adaptation of the film that will forever be considered one of his greatest onscreen achievements.
Bill Murray Gets Emotional
Following the show, Murray made his way backstage to meet the cast, posing with Andy Karl, who plays Murray’s Punxsutawney weatherman Phil Connors, and addressing the company with a heartfelt speech.
“As actors,” he said, “I can’t respect enough how disciplined you are and how—how serving you are of the process.”
When asked what about the show made him weep, Murray told the New York Times:
You know—the idea of the show. The idea of—that we get to start again. The idea that everyone—when you see the ensemble singing the words, singing a chorus that says, ‘Here we go again. The sun’s gonna come up tomorrow’…The idea that we have to try again. You just have to try again. It’s such a beautiful—powerful—idea.
In April, Tim Minchin, who wrote the music and lyrics for the adaption, told Rolling Stone that it was this theme of repetition that made it so theater-ready in the first place. “It belongs on stage,” he said. “It’s like Stoppard or Beckett. It’s high concept: man stuck in a scenario, man stuck on stage doing the same show every night.”