Bill Murray treats fans to surprise poetry and singing in New York park

Posted on 22 January 2022
By Pierce King
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The man, the myth, the impromptu performance master Bill Murray has returned to his delightful old tricks of popping up in unexpected places to give people an unexpected show.

Yes, casual strollers and passers by in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park were greeted by an eclectic Bill Murray performance, including Beat poetry and American standards.

The 71-year-old Groundhog Day actor spun his own twist on musical theater standards like Porgy and Bess’ “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and West Side Story’s “America” and “I Feel Pretty.”

In front of a rapidly forming crowd, Murray also staged a dramatic reading of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s beat poem, “Dog.” He was accompanied by cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Perez.

Murray has been promoting his new film, New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization, in which he sings in concert alongside the renowned Vogler. The documentary was filmed at their 2018 Acropolis of Athens performance and originally premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

Hitting cinema screens on Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day for Murray aficionados), the concert features Murray’s renditions of such songs and poems as those he presented in Washington Square Park this week.

Murray is fond of singing and performing in unusual places. He has talked about using his fame to appear in random spots and ‘wake up’ the unexpected audience.

In 2016, he sang Rolling Stones classic while bartending in Brooklyn and later led a White House press briefing about the Chicago Cubs’ World Series prospects. He’s also been known to crash bachelor parties and engagement photoshoots.

The French Dispatch actor ended his surprise concert with a bang, saying: “I’m Bill Murray and the cops say we have to turn off the microphones,” he said. “Let’s rip this place apart!”

What’s next for Murray? He recently returned to the Ghostbusters franchise in Afterlife and has hinted at a turn in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Although he’s admitted he’s not allowed to comment on the comments he’s made on that so far.

Stay tuned for more Bill Murray mania – we can’t wait.