Andy Karl, Star of Musical ‘Groundhog Day,’ Is Injured During Preview


Andy Karl as Phil Connors in the musical “Groundhog Day” last month at the August Wilson Theater in New York.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Andy Karl, the star of the new Broadway musical “Groundhog Day,” was injured during a preview performance on Friday night, forcing the show to be paused for about 15 minutes while a doctor was sought and requiring the actor to finish the night using a walking stick.

The injury to Mr. Karl, who plays the weatherman Phil Connors, came at a crucial time for the show, which is scheduled to open Monday night, and which must open by April 27 to be eligible for this season’s Tony Awards.

The show’s producers issued a brief statement late Friday, which did not include the status of the show’s two scheduled performances on Saturday, or its opening on Monday:

At approximately 10:30 in the second act of “Groundhog Day,” during the song “Philanthropy,” Andy Karl injured himself during the performance and left the stage. The show was stopped. Andy insisted on finishing the show and after a 15-minute break went on stage with a cane. Following the performance Andy was taken to see a doctor. We will update you on further news as we hear it.

UPDATE: The actor, in a post on Instagram early Saturday morning, said he had hurt his knee, and would need to see another doctor before figuring out how to proceed. “I’m home now and I have no broken bones but tweaked my knee after a poorly landed leap frog,” he wrote. “I’m gonna get it looked at by specialist before I go back on stage.”

The show, directed by Matthew Warchus, is technically complex, with five turntables built into the floor, and the turntables have jammed several times during previews, causing significant disruptions to performances. But Mr. Karl’s injury on Friday was unrelated to that issue, according to a spokesman for the production.

The injury occurred about 15 minutes before the end of the show, on a night with many journalists in the audience, as critics prepared to render their verdicts. When the show resumed, Mr. Karl leaned on the stick and on a castmate to stand, and added a joke about his injury. (Instead of urging another character to “shake a leg,” he quipped, “What, you hurt your leg or something?”) He appeared to be in tears during the curtain call.

The musical, featuring music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin, is adapted from the 1993 film, and began its life in London, where it was well received. This week, the London production was named the best new musical, and Mr. Karl was named the best actor in a musical, at the annual Olivier Awards.

Mr. Karl is a two-time Tony nominee, including for playing the physically strenuous title role in the stage musical version of “Rocky.” He is married to the singer Orfeh, who posted a short update to Twitter late Friday night.

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