Now that Andy Karl has wowed the critics and producers with his show-must-go-on performance at the opening night of Groundhog Day, the injured star is taking a healthier view of his situation. Karl tore the chief ligament in his left knee during a critics’ preview last Friday and may face surgery. For the moment, he’s cutting back on performances, according to a publicist for the show, and hoping that rest and physical therapy will get him through the rigorous pre-Tony Awards weeks, when voters will be seeing the show (and for which he is all but assured of a nomination).
In addition to opening night, Karl performed yesterday. “On the instruction of his doctors, Andy will take off four performances this week to rest and continue the process of recuperating from the injury,” the production announced. He’ll return for the Friday and Saturday evening performances, with understudy Andrew Call playing the other times.
Beyond that is anyone’s guess, though Karl’s injury is a serious one and the musical is physically demanding, especially for the star, who is onstage for virtually the entire show.
Beau Willimon and Uma Thurman might just be the pair to beat for next year’s Tonys, if producer Steven Baruch and his partners have any say. Willimon, the brains behind House of Cards, has written a new play called The Parisian Woman, which will star Uma Thurman in a limited 20-week run this fall staged by hot director Pam MacKinnon (currently on Broadway with Amélie and a Tony winner for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and nominee for Clybourne Park).
Inspired by Henry Becque’s La Parisienne, Willimon’s play is described in a letter to potential investors, two of whom shared with Deadline, as “a provocative comedy about sexual politics in present day Washington, D.C. Chloe and Tom are a D.C. power couple. Chloe is an uber-operator armed with wit, charm and sensuality — and she uses all the arrows in her quiver to help her husband nab an important judicial post.” The play, commissioned by New York’s Flea Theater, was unveiled in 2013 at California’s South Coast Rep, with Dana Delaney in the leading role. It got mixed but encouraging reviews.
The producers (most recently of In Transit, which failed to catch fire at the Circle In The Square box office) are still raising money for the $3.9–$4.2 million show. They haven’t booked a theater yet. But with those names on the marquee, it’s hard to imagine they’ll have a tough time finding one.