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A CurtainUp Review
Golf: The Musical
Golf is mostly a revue with the unifying theme of the game as an excuse for a variety of hilarious numbers that parody soul, gospel, love ballads and film favorites. There's also a good deal of topical humor, with references to Sarah Palin and, of course, Tiger Woods (eight months must be added to a proposed calendar of Woods' women). One golfer complains that during a summer game he sweated more than Roman Polanski at a Girl Scout meeting.
Golfing jokes abound. "It's Not My Fault" pays tribute to the golfer's tendency to blame anything and anyone for his own mistakes. The song "My Husband Is Playing Around" is based on the well-established fact that some men are more interested in the game than their wives.
One long scene is devoted to two legendary Hollywood golfers, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, who evoke memories of their famous " Road" movies with "We're off on the road to heaven". Another scene acknowledges that some of the most ardent players are U.S. presidents, with secret service men in black suits and sunglasses presiding over the game.
To expound on the pleasures and pitfalls of the game, book writer, lyricist and composer Michael Roberts gives the cast a chance to perform a soft shoe with clubs, and sing hymns and love songs in honor of the game. Yet, he also manages to make the show enjoyable for the non-golfer.
This cast seems to be having so much fun that it's often difficult to tell whether they are ad-libbing or following the script. This spontaneity creates a kind of complicity between the m and the audience. With only a few props (mostly clubs) and some dazzling costumes (mostly old-fashioned golfing apparel) the show's energy never slackens. There's even a segment in which the audience cheers on two of its own members who have been lured onto the stage to try and sink the birdie.
While golfers may find this show as exciting as the game, non-gofers may be amazed at how such a boring activity can produce such a sparkling little show.