Andy Karl, the star of the Broadway musical version of the hit movie “Groundhog Day,” will miss more performances following the knee injury he sustained during Friday’s performance just days before the show’s official opening night.
On the instruction of his doctors, Karl will take off four performances this week to rest and continue the process of recuperating from the injury, which occurred late in the second act on Friday and forced the cancellation of a Saturday performance.
Despite his injury, Karl performed at both the opening night on Monday and at Tuesday’s performance, reprising a role that Bill Murray originated in the 1993 movie comedy on which the musical is based.
Understudy Andrew Call will step in as weatherman Phil Conners at two performances on Wednesday, as well as the Thursday night show and the Saturday matinee. Karl, who won mostly rave reviews this week and an Olivier Award for his performance in the show in London, is scheduled to perform at the Friday and Saturday evening shows.
On Friday, Karl was performing with the show’s ensemble in an elaborate dance number, the show’s third to last song, when he seemed to fall or slide into a piece of prop downstage left.
The actors stopped the number, the lights went dark on stage, a curtain dropped and a house manager came on the sound system with the alarming request, “Is there a doctor in the house?”
After a roughly 25-minute pause, the performance resumed with Karl center stage holding a walking stick and visibly avoiding putting pressure on his left leg. He completed the show, even offering an ad-lib joke to his romantic co-star Barrett Doss, “Hurry up — what, did you hurt your leg or something?”
He appeared to be choking back tears at the curtain call, when the audience gave him a hearty standing ovation.