Groundhog Day Reviews and More!

I recently finished playing Ned Ryerson in the regional premiere of “Groundhog Day: The Musical” at San Francisco Playhouse. It was such a joy to perform in this spectacular show. 68 performances (!) later my heart is filled with gratitude towards the many talented folks, onstage an off, who made it possible. In addition to playing Ned, I also understudied the role of Phil Connors and got to perform it several times. Click here for some video from the show!

Me as Ned opposite the great Ryan Drummond as Phil
I’d just like to point out …
I’m the tall one

We were also honored by some special visitors during our run! Andy Karl, who originated the role of Phil Connors in the West End and Broadway productions of “Groundhog Day”, saw our production (the first one since his) with his brilliantly talented wife, Orfeh:

Orfeh, our director Susi Damilano, and Andy Karl

We were also humbled to welcome Danny Rubin to the show. Mr. Rubin wrote the screenplay for the movie “Groundhog Day” as well as the book for the musical. We owe it all to him!

Danny Rubin and the cast

Here’s what the critics had to say about my performance:

“Dean Linnard … is fantastic as Ned Ryerson, a supremely annoying high school classmate of Phil’s. His comic skills shine in act one, but it’s his gorgeous, resonant rendering of the bittersweet “Night Will Come” that is a highlight of the second half of the show.” Patrick Thomas, Talkin’ Broadway

“The most moving song in the play, “Night Will Come,” sung by the insurance agent Ned Ryerson (fast talking, magnetic Dean Linnard) affects us deeply.” Patrick L. Morin, Theatrius

“Dean Linnard, as Phil’s high school classmate Ned, gives even stillness the spring of a jack-in-the-box.” Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

“Dean Linnard as Phil’s insurance-selling high school classmate Ned Ryerson gets the combination of goofiness and pathos exactly right.” Tony Frankel, Stage and Cinema

“Dean Linnard screams dorkiness as the fast-talking dynamo insurance salesman Ned Ryerson … [and] delivers a poignant and well sung solo.” Victor Cordell, Berkshire Fine Arts

“To Phil’s evident sorrow, he … runs into an overly effervescent insurance salesman named Ned Ryerson (a rib-tickling Dean Linnard) …” Eddie Reynolds, Theatre Eddys

“[A]dding another layer to the story is a perfect move, such as with the songs “Playing Nancy” and “Night Will Come.” The latter in particular deserves its own shoutout; in the role of life insurance agent Ned Ryerson, Dean Linnard’s otherwise perky voice takes on a beautiful and haunting tone as he reminds the audience of its own mortality.” Lauren Sheehan-Clark, The Daily Californian

“Excellent supporting roles are delivered by Sophia Introna as Nancy (“Playing Nancy”) and Dean Linnard as the nerdy but kind Ned Ryerson” Steve Murray, Broadwayworld

“Sophia Introna and Dean Linnard as Nancy and Ned, respectively, vocalize with verve.”  Leslie Katz, San Francisco Examiner

So long, Punxsutawney!