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Groundhog Day in San Francisco

Micki7
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#26
Posted: 12/5/19 at 1:35pm
Just saw this in SF last night, having not seen it on Broadway.
Fantastic! Ryan Drummond was just about perfect as Phil. I loved the facial expressions he made in reaction to various situations or statements. The perfect take, almost like a cartoon pose frozen just long enough to register. Rinabeth Apostol as Rita had a nice voice.
Loved the near-identical-but-not-quite repeats of incidents. Live drama does this so well. Well worth a visit. Well worth the drive up from San Jose.

In the afternoon I saw Summer: the Donna Summer Musical at the Golden Gate. All in all, a wonderful theater day. Oddly, in the afternoon I was one of the few that didn’t rise for a standing ovation. In the evening I was one of the few who did. It deserved more, although I am glad the Playhouse audience doesn’t automatically rise without reflection. They are a little spoiled though—the gentleman behind me in the fifth row complained “These are terrible seats”! !Actually, I haven’t found a bad seat yet in that theatre.
bear88
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#27
Posted: 12/5/19 at 4:29pm

It's possible the guy behind you was not complaining about how close he was to the stage (it's a small venue, as you point out) but the actual seat itself. I like the San Francisco Playhouse but some of the seats could use a little work. 

The Orpheum/Golden Gate audiences tend to give standing ovations for pretty much everything. At smaller theaters in San Francisco (and the Berkeley Rep and other theaters in the SF Bay Area), that's not an automatic response, especially for plays but musicals too. 

I don't really have a strong opinion about standing ovations one way or the other. But it feels like standing ovations at ACT or the San Francisco Playhouse are harder to get, so when they happen, it's more of an endorsement. At the Orpheum or Golden Gate, people end up standing because everyone around them is standing, so it's hard to tell whether people actually liked the performance or if they don't want to stare at someone's back while the actors take their bows.

I guess it's the difference between audiences who attend Broadway touring productions (Orpheum/Golden Gate) and those who attend regional theater. The latter group is either pickier or more discerning, depending on your point of view. 

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MarkBearSF
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#28
Posted: 12/5/19 at 4:40pm

I saw it on Sunday. I really enjoyed the show. Ryan Drummond really does a great job in a tough role (and one that is onstage practically the whole time). The rest of the cast is excellent and the staging is fun - with some great choreography, which is especially challenging with a turntable that is frequently moving. 

I was less than impressed with the score of Matilda, so I was surprised how much I liked this one. 

Another great SF Playhouse production. I've recommended it to my friends. 

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Kitsune
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#29
Posted: 12/5/19 at 5:24pm

Really glad to hear that other people are liking it! I think the Christmas Carol comparisons are working well.

It's hard to get my memories of the Broadway production out of mind, but per usual SF Playhouse does a really good job. I agree with all the praise for Ryan Drummond. The last two things I saw him in were Sunday in the Park (Jules) and La Cage aux Folles (Georges), and I was impressed with his ability to play against type. My main worry going in was whether the show would work without Andy Karl. Ryan isn't Andy, but he carries the show and gives a heck of a performance. For those curious - compared to Andy, Ryan's Phil is a little less grand and epic in the mania of Act I, and then the despair and enlightenment of Act II. Ryan comes off as more human (albeit still a real jerk in Act I), but when he finally becomes a decent guy, it's moving in its own way. (If anyone *has* seen both productions, I'd love to hear what you think).

The smaller theater space makes the sleight-of-hand stagecraft all the more impressive, IMO.

Re: Standing ovations, I went for Round #3 on Tuesday evening (Look, Groundhog Day is my favorite recent musical, tickets are affordable, and it's easy to get to the theater from work). The audience seemed to enjoy it, but there wasn't a standing ovation. I *wanted* to stand, but I felt awkward being the only one, or being the one to start it.

 

bear88
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#30
Posted: 12/5/19 at 5:44pm

I'm noting the recommendations. Probably not seeing the musical this month, because it will be around into January and I'm seeing The Tale of Despereaux at the Berkeley Rep this weekend and Head Over Heels at the New Conservatory later in the month. 

Kitsune, I don't think you should feel bad about not standing. Enthusiastic applause while remaining seated is just fine. The cast is going to get to know you well by the time the run is done.

 

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Kitsune
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#31
Posted: 12/5/19 at 6:51pm

bear88 said: "I'm noting the recommendations. Probably not seeing the musicalthis month, because it will be around into January and I'm seeing The Tale of Despereaux at the Berkeley Rep this weekend and Head Over Heels at the New Conservatory later in the month."

I'm also going to Head Over Heels sat New Conservatory this month, along with Scrooge in Love at 42nd Street Moon and Pride and Prejudice at Theatreworks. (I'm seeing Despereaux in January) It always feels like there's more interesting theater in the Bay Area than I have time to see, but during the holidays even more so!


"Kitsune, I don't think you should feel bad about not standing. Enthusiastic applause while remaining seated is just fine. The cast is going to get to know you well by the time the run is done."

The last part is what I'm afraid of! (Seriously, I may be a repeat offender, but I also want to be a respectful audience member).

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Lot666
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#32
Posted: 12/6/19 at 12:08pm

MarkBearSF said: "the staging is fun - with some great choreography, which is especially challenging with a turntable that is frequently moving."

You should've seen it with the Broadway production's five turntables!

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
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Lot666
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#33
Posted: 12/6/19 at 12:09pm

Kitsune said: "I went for Round #3 on Tuesday evening (Look, Groundhog Day is my favorite recent musical, tickets are affordable, and it's easy to get to the theater from work)"

Never apologize for taking every opportunity to experience whatever brings you joy. I saw it three times on Broadway.

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
bear88
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#34
Posted: 1/13/20 at 3:07am

So 33 months after we didn't see it on our New York City trip because only individual seats were left, my wife, younger daughter and I finally saw Groundhog Dog on Sunday evening. It was a charming and well-performed show at the San Francisco Playhouse - which wasn't surprising, as they do musicals well. We ended up with second row center orchestra seats on Goldstar, which was both a bargain and a nice opportunity to see some of the acting and stage work up close. The cast did a nice job with a complex show to pull together, and Ryan Drummond - who I've seen before in La Cage Aux Folles and Sunday in the Park With George - is excellent in the exhausting role of Phil Connors.

I'm sure this was an impressive show to see on Broadway but it worked on a smaller scale too. I was always a little uncertain about a musicalization of one of my favorite film comedies, and the show both benefits and suffers from the inevitable comparisons. The darkness of the material does feel a bit different from the second row of a live performance than on film, and I didn't agree with every choice. The songs were enjoyable if not memorable, but Tim Minchin's lyrics were quite witty. The whole family enjoyed it. 

The show wraps up its run on Saturday. 

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Kitsune
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#35
Posted: 1/17/20 at 1:40am
Both Andy Karl and Orfeh were in the audience tonight!!! (They're in town performing at Feinsteins at the Nikko this weekend).

I've really loved this production from the beginning, but the energy tonight was particularly strong. It was really fun to be in the audience!
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PatrickDC
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#36
Posted: 1/17/20 at 1:50am
We’re seeing Andy and Orfeh tomorrow night. Really looking forward to it and especially the post show meet-and-greet.
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#37
Posted: 1/17/20 at 10:44am
I saw this when I was home for Christmas (I saw it twice on Broadway) and it was solid and thoroughly charming. I hadn’t been back to that theatre since it was the Post Street and Spelling Bee was sitting down. I’m so glad Andy Karl got to see it!
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
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Kitsune
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#38
Posted: 1/17/20 at 12:53pm

PatrickDC, we'll also be there tonight! We went last time they were in town and had a blast, so we're really excited.

Also, Andy posted about the experience on Instagram

Bear88, late response, but glad you enjoyed the show!! I agree that there really are some great deals on Goldstar for the local theaters, which only enables my theatergoing!

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NYfanfromCA
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#39
Posted: 1/17/20 at 1:03pm

Finally saw the Sunday 1/12 matinee after booking our seats on the first day possible.  Loved it, and was so happy to hear the songs and music again.  I saw it on Broadway twice during its closing weekend, and it is one of my top 10 favorite musicals.  I really wanted to see Andy and Orfeh at Feinstein's (in SF or NY) this month, but it doesn't look like I can make it.  I was wondering if Andy and Orfeh would be going to the show and how Andy would feel about it!  

My husband really enjoyed/loved the show, too.  I'd see it again if it wasn't closing tomorrow.  

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ModernMillie3
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#40
Posted: 1/17/20 at 4:55pm

"I went for Round #3 on Tuesday evening (Look, Groundhog Day is my favorite recent musical, tickets are affordable, and it's easy to get to the theater from work)"

It's odd that people feel the need to defend seeing this brilliant show. I saw it five times on Broadway and loved every second of it. It's a comedy about hope and love with a wonderful leading man. Pretty much perfection in my book. 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-the-light-a-faustian-tale-concept-recording#/
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PatrickDC
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#41
Posted: 1/18/20 at 3:19am

Kitsune said: "PatrickDC, we'll also be there tonight! We went last time they were in town and had a blast, so we're really excited."

Kitsune, so great to meet you, glad our paths crossed after the show. And how fun that Orfeh and Andy and their band hung out so long after to chat and take pictures. I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with Andy about the technical aspects and blocking for GHD which has always fascinated me. 

Damn, they are such a beautiful couple! 

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Kitsune
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#42
Posted: 1/18/20 at 3:21pm

Patrick, it was lovely to meet you as well! Apologies that I didn't see your Direct Message until this morning.

I think my favorite thing about Orfeh and Andy's shows is how much fun they're obviously having. Orfeh was right - the show *really* did just fly by. I saw them the last time they were in San Francisco, and it was fun getting to listen to the new additions to the set list.

And yes, it was really fun chatting to Andy and Orfeh afterwards! My partner and I have tickets for the last performance of Groundhog Day tonight - otherwise we would be at Legally Bound night 2.

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PatrickDC
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#43
Posted: 1/19/20 at 2:24pm

Kitsune, how was the final performance? You must be going into withdrawal with one of your favorite shows closing. (hehehe just kidding?)

Talking to Orfeh at Feinstein’s she convinced me to see it again so I got a cheap balcony ticket for the matinee. Driving up 280 the traffic was light so I opted to drive into SF instead of BARTing. Big mistake. I wasn’t aware of the Women’s March that had closed Market Street and I was stuck for nearly an hour in SoMa traffic. Realizing I’d be too late if I could even reach the Sutter-Stockton Garage, I sadly drive home. 

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Kitsune
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#44
Posted: 1/21/20 at 1:25am

PatrickDC said: "Kitsune, how was the final performance? You must be going into withdrawal with one of your favorite shows closing. (hehehe just kidding?)

Talking to Orfeh at Feinstein’s she convinced me to see it again so I got a cheap balcony ticket for the matinee. Driving up 280 the traffic was light so I opted to drive into SF instead of BARTing. Big mistake. I wasn’t aware of the Women’s March that had closed Market Street and I was stuck for nearly an hour in SoMa traffic. Realizing I’d be too late if I could even reach the Sutter-Stockton Garage, I sadly drive home.
"

It was really good! The cast left everything on the table, with lots of fun extra bits in places like Philandering, etc. (For example: Buster French-kissed the groundhog, which was thoroughly ridiculous XD)  Granted I was exhausted by the end of everything - dealing with Union Square three days in a row isn't my idea of a good time, and the fact that I went there so often is a testament to how much I loved the show.

Honestly, I just feel so fortunate that I got to experience the rebirth of this show in its regional form. If I can fit it into my travel plans, I may try to see the production in Minneapolis this summer. At the moment it feels less like withdrawal, and more like "goodbye for now."

Sorry to hear that you got stuck in traffic and missed the show, how awful!!! I don't know your commuting situation, but I always try to avoid driving in the city if I ever can avoid it. 

Robotmonster
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Groundhog Day in San Francisco#45
Posted: 1/21/20 at 5:08am

Drove up from Los Angeles to see Cursed Child and Groundhog day on opening weekends for both shows. While both were great, Groundhog was emotionally more relevant. I loved it and wished I could see it again. The company did an amazing job. I'm looking forward to someone in Socal mount a production.

Updated On: 1/21/20 at 05:08 AM

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