The home team shoots and misses — not just net, but puck — with “Score.” This lamentable Toronto opening-night choice proves even a concept as delightful as “hockey musical” can be penalized for poor execution. Pic bursts into song about two minutes in, flatlines and never recovers. Theme and novelty value guarantee a certain high profile (if not ticketbuyers) in Canada, where it opens Oct. 11. Offshore prospects will be icy.
Toronto teen Farley (Noah Reid) is a sheltered naif raised by peaceniks (Olivia Newton-John, Marc Johnson). Yet he has a natural gift noticed by the owner (Stephen McHattie) of an amateur league team; Farley’s nimble skating and bull’s-eye stick work soon impress not only coach (John Pyper-Ferguson) and teammates, but the national media. However, just as quickly, pacifist Farley becomes a pariah for refusing to participate in the inevitable on-ice fisticuffs. Songs by several composers are as incessant as they are interchangable, with lyrics by helmer Michael McGowan (“One Week”) often painfully awkward; games and musical numbers alike are dully staged; perfs (also featuring Allie MacDonald as the love interest) are as bland as the limply kidding script.