REVIEW ROUNDUP: “The Last Match” Opened with a ShowScore of 74

Show-Score | Oct 25, 2017
“The Last Match,” written by Anna Ziegler and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, opened on October 24, 2017 in New York City. “The Last Match,” written by Anna Ziegler and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, opened on October 24, 2017 in New York City.


8 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 65.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 65
"Ziegler’s four-character play succumbs early to the hypnotic, adrenaline-draining rhythms of a gentle, endless practice rally. Exciting though they may be to watch in the stadium or on the screen, sports seldom make for gripping theater...The performances rarely transcend the expected formula of such back stories...There is the stuff of an elegant (if less than original) essay in 'The Last Match' on how we invest in athletes as symbols and reflections of our own mortality.”
Frank Scheck
The Hollywood Reporter
ShowScore: 55
“The flashbacks never achieve sufficient dramatic momentum...The play works best in its more lighthearted moments...Tennis fans will certainly appreciate the attention to detail in this production. On the other hand, if you're not terribly familiar with the sport, you may often find your mind wandering...Thanks to the performers' efforts, 'The Last Match' has its entertaining moments. But much like an athletic event that's gone on for too long, you'll be relieved when it's finally over.”
Pete Hempstead
ShowScore: 70
“Gaye Taylor Upchurch's nimble direction keeps this 95-minute play moving at a clip, but Ziegler's story, with plot points that feel like easy lobs, never gets our hearts racing...The story's most interesting moments unfold as the two off-court couples attempt to make sense of their relationships...That's not to say that ‘The Last Match’ isn't worthwhile or satisfying theater — only that it sticks with gentle serves rather than trying for that ace.”

“The Last Match” was also reviewed by Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp, Raven Snook of Time Out New York, and Robert Sholiton of Gotham Playgoer.


The show was also reviewed by 124 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 74.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great staging, Intelligent

Justinian, ShowScore: 60
See it if…"You find the existential angst of highly successful men to be compelling dramatic material. You love tennis, or interesting stagings."
Don't see it if…"Well-trodden themes and gimmicky stagings make you sigh. A lot of competent material, but not compelling beyond the framing device of points."
Lostphantom, ShowScore: 65
See it if… "You are interested the life stories or mindsets of sportsman. Also, a production that builds upon character development throughout the show." 
Don't see it if…"You seek upbeat, fast-paced plot points. The production relies on series of brief life stories of two players, which may be slow for some."
Marcy, ShowScore: 75
See it if…"You want to consider the possible inner thoughts of athletes in competition and the toll it takes on their psyches and personal lives." 
Don't see it if…"You hate tennis, inconsistent Russian accents. Want more elaborate set or hope you'll be deeply moved by a theatrical production."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.