Last night, Bill Murray attended the opening of The Groundhog Day musical. Sopan Deb over on the NYTimes has a pretty great write-up about it, although it doesn’t capture just how taken Deb himself was with the whole ordeal (for that, you’ll need to read his Twitter account). Murray was in great spirits; he gave a bartender a $50 tip for a glass of water; he handed out Junior Mints to kids; he took selfies; and he just generally was his Best Bill Murray.
He also wept tears of joy over a musical based on a comedy. And while that might seem odd, the reason that Bill Murray gave to Sopan Deb is not:
In an interview afterward, Mr. Murray said it was the message behind the story brought to life on stage that made him weep.
“The idea that …” Mr. Murray trailed off as he paused to collect his thoughts. “The idea that we just have to try again. We just have to try again. It’s such a beautiful, powerful idea.”
While I have not seen the musical, nor heard one bar of music from it, thinking about Groundhog Day from that perspective not only fills me with a certain kind of joy, but I can actually see that broad strokes of that play. I can envision the kind of musical numbers and sense the exuberance that it would inspire. Thematically, it’s resonant. “We just have to try again. We just have to try again.”
Life is not Sisyphean; it’s not a daily grind. Life is an opportunity to wake up every day and try again. Bill Murray has always seemed to understand that better than most.