When golf meets musical theater…

Women’s issues have been front and center in discussions of national politics of late — in a way I don’t recall seeing since my time reading feminist authors like Mary Daly during doctoral studies in the philosophy of religion in the 1980s.

It seems the perfect time to revisit the lives of women who’ve challenged or changed American mores, especially while so much talk of insults hurled at Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke has failed to find fault with the term “feminazi” (an observation shared by my acutely astute husband).

Olympic medalist Babe Didrikson is the subject of a new musical opening in Scottsdale this month

Valley theatergoers can enjoy the tale of an incredibly accomplished athlete named Mildred “Babe” Didrikson as Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale presents “Babe: An Olympian Musical,” directed by Christy Welty, March 16-April 1.

It’s perfectly timed considering that the LPGA Founders Cup tournament takes place March 12-18 in Phoenix — and includes a special tribute to LPGA founders (including Didrikson and 12 other golfers).

“Babe: An Olympian Musical” features book and lyrics by Carolyn Gage and music by Andrea Jill Higgins. A sampling of songs with titles that include “No Next Time,” “The Fine Line,” “Olympic Gold” and “Watch Me Fly” is already available online.

The National Women’s History Museum, which supporters including Meryl Streep are working to take from online resource to brick and mortar museum, details Didrikson’s accomplishments in golf and other sports — also describing her struggles with the cancer that took her life.

Musical theater is full of women deemed ditsy or dumb, so folks eager to support those who elevate the stories of smart and capable women will find this work, and others from Theatre Artists Studio, intriguing.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to read a piece published by the Women’s Media Center about the development of the National Women’s History Museum, here to read the Babe Didrikson bio from the LPGA and here to read a “Broadway World” article about the show.

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