Balls NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(102 Ratings)
Positive
77%
Mixed
16%
Negative
7%
Members say
Great staging, Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious, Relevant

About the Show

It's 1973, and Houston's Astrodome is playing host to one of the biggest cultural events of all time as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs face-off in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match.

Read more Show less

Show-Score Member Reviews (102)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
60 Reviews | 4 Followers
90
Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant

See it if You are a historian, a feminist and a sport or a history buff

Don't see it if You do have no sense of play

302 Reviews | 99 Followers
86
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to see a great staging of THE tennis match of the century. Very creative was to keep you engaged as the match was replayed.

Don't see it if you do not like shows about the feminist movement, abortion and women and gay rights. Read more

567 Reviews | 151 Followers
86
A '70s spectacle with astonishing stagecraft

See it if you can appreciate the impact of '70s cultural icons like Billie Jean King and Helen Reddy. Open to an evening leaning more to a spectacle?

Don't see it if you need a traditional evening of a linear play. This is an event with depth mixed with frolic. The angling of the net is a brilliant effect

84 Reviews | 27 Followers
85
Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you have even a slight recollection of the King-Riggs tennis match, because what you remember will probably be only a fraction of the story.

Don't see it if you need linear storytelling, or hate tennis or don't think there is anything to be gained from an analysis of male-female roles.

64 Reviews | 13 Followers
82
Clever, Edgy, Great staging, Quirky

See it if You like tennis and want to see an interesting presenting of the match.Make sure to get there a little early to read the history of the show

Don't see it if Do not like non traditional theatre or if tennis is not interesting to you

245 Reviews | 37 Followers
81
Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Edgy, Profound

See it if A show about sexism, sports, and a great talked about match in history. If you like tidbits about feminism and history in your shows

Don't see it if You just want to see a match about tennis

Nic
624 Reviews | 108 Followers
80
Ambitious, Relevant, Indulgent, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you’d enjoy a drama about the King-Riggs matches interspersed with the story of how gender constructs affect an unrelated romance.

Don't see it if you would prefer a linear plot that focuses only on the participants in the famous tennis match. Read more

520 Reviews | 71 Followers
80
Creative, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Funny

See it if you want a show that is about much more than a tennis match. It focuses on women's rights, abortion and LGBT equality, but with humor.

Don't see it if you don't care about how gender equality has advanced in recent history.

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
January 24th, 2018

"Though this action is cleverly devised...and executed perfectly...it is neither tennis nor theater but a kind of hysteria. The whole play seems to be constructed backward, starting with a concept requiring a full 85 minutes of athletic representation and ending with the maddening question of how to fill all that time...Never gets anywhere near an insightful gloss on the battle of the sexes, writ large or small...As intellectually underfed as it is imaginatively overindulgent."
Read more

Theatermania
January 24th, 2018

"A play with so many colliding spheres...While Armento and Lavery manage to juggle a lot in their idea-heavy and plot-light story, quantity ends up burdening a play that could have used a far more delicate touch...Stories circle King and Riggs like satellites...We're led down a rabbit hole of questions...There's not nearly enough time to focus on any of these questions, but they're valuable topics to walk out the door pondering."
Read more

BroadwayWorld
January 26th, 2018

"An exciting and ingenious production...A stunning show that creatively portrays the infamous tennis match...The show presents an energetic, realistic depiction of this 'Battle of the Sexes' match point by point. The narrative cleverly integrates other characters...While the production is colorful, lively, and entertaining, it also does an excellent job of exploring the serious topics...The company of 'Balls' is a dream team."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
January 26th, 2018

"It's a heady mix, filled with fascinating and evocative details...Despite the richness of its themes, the play is not always successful...Sometimes too much happens at once...At times, King and Riggs end up seeming like supporting characters in their own drama...Still, 'Balls' is never dull...And, in its eccentric way, 'Balls' makes its case that the Battle of the Sexes provides a window on issues that continue to rattle us to this very day."
Read more

Talkin' Broadway
January 24th, 2018

"There is much more here than the re-creation of the match, itself so marvelously choreographed...'Balls' is a work of consummate collaboration that not only immerses us in the sights and sounds we would have encountered at the Astrodome, but also places that singular moment within its historic context...An exceptionally well-wrought ensemble piece...You'll be hard pressed to find a better retelling of a story that has obtained near-mythic status as 'The Battle of the Sexes.'"
Read more

TheaterScene.net
January 26th, 2018

"An overblown and hollow spectacle...Nothing registers as organic or significant, and it all comes across as meaningless filler. The talented cast is spurred on to deliver exaggerated characterizations...When it focuses on these simple human elements, 'Balls' has sparks of interest. However, it goes off on inane tangents with the aim of connecting the events to a contemporary cultural sensibility and is a crashing bore."
Read more

CurtainUp
January 24th, 2018

"You don't you need to be a tennis player to see and enjoy 'Balls'...Tamaki and Carren...indeed move around the stage-cum-Astrodome court and hit their pretend balls so that it all feels like the real thing. Though the script doesn't give either Tamaki or Carren much to do in the way of nuanced acting, it does take us through the entire game, and does so within the time that the match lasted...Admirable as the performers are, the staging is the big star of this production."
Read more

Theatre is Easy
January 24th, 2018

"Riggs' persona is well-written, nuanced, and complex. King's character, however, is less developed and her internal struggles with heterosexism, professionalism, and sexual desire are hinted at but never fully revealed. I found this disappointing. At the same time, there is much to recommend in this production...Movement director Natalie Lomonte has done a stellar job of choreographing...All told, it’s a gripping work. Timely and provocative."
Read more