Golf — which is not about baseball, though both sports involve swatting a ball around — tees off at the intimate 74-seat John Houseman Studio Theater A, downstairs at the Houseman complex on West 42nd Street. Opening is set for Nov. 5. Tony Award nominee Joel Blum is part of the foursome on stage.
The two-act Off-Broadway show, presented by Eric Krebs, celebrates "the fun, frustration, elation and humor of the popular sport," with music and lyrics by Michael Roberts, directed and choreographed by Christopher Scott.
The first act is called "the front nine" and the second "the back nine," in honor of the game's 18-hole course. The 19th hole, amateurs often say, is the best part of the experience: it's the cocktail lounge.
The cast of Golf features two-time Tony Award nominee Joel Blum (Show Boat, Steel Pier), Trisha Rapier (tours of Forbidden Broadway and The Who's Tommy), Christopher Sutton (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and Sal Viviano (Broadway's The Three Musketeers, Romance/Romance, City of Angels, Falsettos, The Life and The Full Monty).
"Although they complain about it, golfers seem more dedicated to their sport than can seem possible," says Michael Roberts, the show's songwriter, himself an amateur golfer, in production notes. "We love golf. We respect golf. But golf doesn't always love us back. It's maddening, but also humorous. And there's always the certainty in the game that a professional will, on some days, shoot a terrible round, or that a weekend golfer will shoot a sublime round." Roberts has composed scores for documentaries and the feature film, "Love Walked In." A protégé of Rupert Holmes, Roberts worked with Holmes to create music for the AMC television series, "Remember WENN." In addition, he has toured with Herman's Hermits, Bobby Sherman, Joan Rivers, Lesley Gore and currently serves as musical director for The Broadway Kids.
Songs in the show include "A Show About Golf," ""The History of Golf," "Who Plays Celebrity Golf?," "Scratch Golfer," "Plaid," "The Golfer's Psalm," "Tiger Woods," "A Great Lady Golfer," "Let's Bring Golf to the Gulf," "My Husband's Playing Around," "The Golfing Museum," "The Road to Heaven," "No Blacks, No Chicks, No Jews," "The Ballad of Casey Martin," "Pro Shop Polyphony," "Golf;s Such a Naughty Game," "Presidents and Golf," "The Beautiful Time," "I'm Going Golfing Tomorrow."
Designers are James Joughin (set), Bernard Grenier (costume) and Aaron Spivey (lighting). Musical direction is by Ken Lundie.
Director Christopher Scott acted on and Off-Broadway in productions of Meet Me in St. Louis, The Fantasticks, Bent and Twilight of the Golds. His directing credits include numerous productions for AMAS Musical Theatre, Theatreworks/USA, NYU/Collaborative Arts Project CAP21 Studio and The Broadway Kids.
The John Houseman Theater Center — which houses the mainstage (featuring Rounding Third) and two studio theatres (Studio 2 houses the musical, Cupid and Psyche) — is at 450 W. 42nd Street. Golf performances play 8 PM Wednesdays Saturdays, 2:30 PM Saturday matinees and 3 & 7 PM Sundays.
General admission tickets are $40 and may be purchased through Telecharge at (212) 239-6200. Student tickets are $20, and groups of 15 or more may purchase $30 tickets by calling (212) 967-7079.