How Andy Karl, stage manager David Lober, and the Groundhog Day team came together to put on the first preview that almost wasn't.
Andy Karl (Manuel Harlan)
When a technical glitch brought the first Broadway preview of Groundhog Day to a halt, the director, producers, stage managers, stars, and crew came together to ensure the show would go on—as the adage says it must.
Like all production stage managers, Groundhog Day’s David Lober has witnessed his share of theatrical hiccups. Last night at the August Wilson Theatre was not the first time—and likely will not be the last—he had to make the decision to stop the show. “Sometimes things happen and we don’t stop the show and the audience never knows,” he says. “Other times, the audience is in on it.”
The audience was certainly in on it March 16 when director Matthew Warchus—after a 20-minute pause (and a round of drinks for the crowd)—took the stage to announce that the new musical would not be performed as the staged production the company had rehearsed, but as a concert presentation.