Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great staging, Clever

About the show

Set against the high-stakes backdrop of professional tennis, this New York premiere from Roundabout serves up a richly theatrical look at what keeps us striving and why.

... Read more

You’ve given it all to reach the top of your game. Now where do you go from here? That’s the question at the heart of Anna Ziegler’s new play 'The Last Match.' It’s the semifinals of the U.S. Open, and two tennis greats are facing off in the match of their lives. Tim Porter, the aging all-American favorite, wants to prove to the world, his wife and himself that he’s still a champion. Hot-headed rising star Sergei Sergeyev struggles to believe he truly deserves to beat his lifelong hero.

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through 12/23


$30 Select Orchestra & Mezzanine


Regular price $79. Discount price is $30 select orchestra and mezzanine for all performances. Discount prices are valid for performances through 12/23/17. Must order by 12/23/17. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final—no refunds.

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through 12/23


$49 select orchestra and mezz (reg. $79)


Regular price $79. Discount price is $49 select orchestra and mezzanine for all performances. Discount prices are valid for performances through 11/05/17. Must order by 11/05/17. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final—no refunds.

through 12/23


$30 select orchestra and mezz (reg. $79)


Regular price $79. Discount price is $30 select orchestra and mezzanine for all performances. Discount prices are valid for performances through 12/23/17. Must order by 12/23/17. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final—no refunds.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Stage Left

"An excellent ensemble...The energetic direction by Gayle Taylor Upchurch effortlessly brings us onto the court of a live tennis match without ever feeling unnatural...The simplicity of this play, and the pace with which it moves, masks a much more profound discourse about ambition, pressure, success, failure, and purpose—subjects we can all relate to...'The Last Match' is an exhilarating and smart exploration of the athlete’s psyche." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“In this sharp, funny look at what it takes to win, and what happens if you do, tennis is like life: sometimes you come up aces and sometimes you get smacked with a ball...Ziegler and director Upchurch do a fantastic job of creating a riveting, well-paced match without the benefit of an actual tennis court...It feels real thanks to terrific design...Ziegler has an excellent ear for crackling dialogue...For both tennis and non-tennis fans, ‘The Last Match’ scores.” Full Review


"Ziegler manages to dramatize a very realistic and quite exciting tennis match between perfectly matched players. Under Upchurch’s streamlined direction, Bethel and Mickiewicz speak the body language of the court. Invisible balls are served, chased, returned and missed with grace and power by two toned athletes wielding invisible rackets...Like those invisible balls, the dialogue whizzes by at warp speed." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“What Ziegler builds is less of a contrast study and more of a mirror...By exploring the thoughts running across their minds with each game, Ziegler is able to manipulate time with the precision of a clockmaker...Ziegler's play is efficient at showcasing juxtapositions that reveal things unknown to the characters without allowing us to condescend them...'The Last Match' poses questions on the nature of our purpose, and whether we can alter our destiny.” Full Review

The Playfixer

“In Ziegler’s ‘The Last Match’ two tennis stars go head to head in a quarterfinals match at the U.S. Open...Much of the play consists of these guys' thoughts during their volleys, which are ingeniously staged by Upchurch, interspersed with off-court scenes with their women...All four actors are superb, the guys absolutely believable as tennis players, the women compelling and often poignant...I thoroughly enjoyed this play and think you will too.” Full Review

Theater Life

"Ziegler’s incisive, spare dialogue and Gaye Taylor Unchurch’s inventive staging manage to give a sense of the ecstatic blood-rush of competition and how it drives these two men...Bethel captures Tim’s charismatic confidence without being arrogant and Alex Mickiewicz’s takes full advantage of the juicier challenge of combining Sergei’s Slavic temper with his devastating insecurity...We follow the points just as eagerly as if we were at the real match." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Ziegler and Upchurch rely on the aura of make-believe one can bring to the theater, plus the expertise of a top-notch cast of four...It is quite amazing how much excitement is achieved, and how much insight is communicated about all four individuals as well as about the sport...I do find that it could be trimmed some, as there tends to be repetition of some aspects...However, even as is, this is excellent, involving theater." Full Review


“'The Last Match' is a vivid and interestingly structured take on the tennis metaphor...When Bethel and Mickiewicz get into position and play another round in the tense match, their physicality is authentic and exciting to watch...Under Ms. Upchurch's steady direction the men convincingly tackle the physical and emotional nuances of their roles...Ultimately, this is a tough look at life in the fast lane of professional tennis." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"The match is graceful and powerful with precision as simultaneous body motions...The play, like a tennis match, portrays lives moving back and forth in time sequences, giving glimpses into the relationships of the two couples...The men are physically adept and display great emotional fortitude in their suffering and desires...'The Last Match' is an interesting premise for a play but you’ll have an edge of enjoyment if it’s a sport in which you participate." Full Review

Front Row Center

“We are told early on that, 'in those kinds of matches, there is tension all the way through.' If this production, though well acted and visually compelling, does not fully live up to that promise, it does at least serve up a volley of poignant moments amid funny acts of courtship...The play’s more serious challenge is the presentational style in which it is written...Tensions deflate...Issues are undercut...The games of the heart these people play deserve a richer backdrop.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

“It’s most beautifully staged, and solidly performed, and while we are in it, the rush of the competitive match engages, and compels us forward...It’s a well balanced game, and no matter who wins, the play is worth watching. But as with most spectator sports, being in that moment of play is gripping, but rarely does the game last in our hearts beyond the event. The adrenaline fades as fast as it was produced. Here, with ‘The Last Match’, the end result is the same.” Full Review

Time Out New York

"Despite Upchurch’s energetic direction, 'The Last Match' has a familiar feel. Ziegler serves insults and insights with impressive velocity, but the play doesn’t offer much new spin on its central questions about winning, disappointment and pressure. Mickiewicz and Payne...give ace performances; so do Bethel and Winters, whose arc is more melancholy. When the play’s balls stay in the air, it’s largely thanks to these four talented players." Full Review


“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.” Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"The concept of the match as a platform for backstories is an interesting one, but I didn’t think it was handled particularly well. I found much of the material a bit trite. The ending may be appropriate, but it doesn’t satisfy. The cast perform well, although I can’t vouch for the verisimilitude of the tennis strokes...Gaye Taylor Upchurch’s direction is fluid. If you don’t know anything about tennis scoring, you may find yourself adrift." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“'The Last Match,' an occasionally humorous, heartfelt attempt to explore not only the competitive dynamic between two top players but the personal…matters that collide with their professional ambitions…Aside from the gradual revelation of who these people are and what drives them, there's very little plot...There's nothing especially unusual or eye-opening about any of these things but Ziegler at least gives her actors theatrically vivid things to say and do.” Full Review

The New York Times

"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.” Full Review

New York Theater

"The mimed game is incessantly interrupted by their interior thoughts and reminiscences...This rings false. It seems much more likely that world-class tennis players focus exclusively on their game...The characters we get to know are so well drawn and appealing that we’re almost willing to forgive the awkwardness of the play’s overall structure. 'The Last Match' would probably make more sense as a short story...But then we would miss out on the four winning performances." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"It never reaches the explosive climax that it seems to be heading toward...If the director, Gaye Taylor Upchurch, can't solve the play's ultimate sense of irresolution, she has at least found four actors who are a pleasure to be with...Everything about ‘The Last Match’ is as slick and professional as one could wish, but for the fact that Ziegler has found no satisfying way to end it...’The Last Match’ ends up scoring a deuce.” Full Review


“An intense, talky drama...Ziegler’s main point – perhaps her entire point – is to remind or enlighten us that star athletes are human beings too...What makes the work both engrossing and slightly frustrating is just how much has happened to both men off the court in their relatively short times on Earth...’The Last Match’ is likely to stir up mixed emotions in its audience...If I had to give the play a tennis score, I think it would be deuce.” Full Review


“With so many interruptions, it hardly makes for riveting theater, and it never becomes as riveting as a genuine tennis match can be, even though one is ostensibly taking place from the beginning of the play to the end, which essentially presents a chronological series of sets between the two players, the Russian Sergei (Alex Mickiewicz) and the American Tim (Wilson Bethel).” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“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.” Full Review

The Wrap

“Anna Ziegler attempts to take us inside the minds of two athletes as they battle it out on the tennis court...I’m not sure what tennis stars think when they’re in the middle of a match, but it’s undoubtedly not what Tim and Sergei spout as they play air tennis on the Laura Pels stage...‘The Last Match’ is that rare play that might be improved if it were a two-hander.” Full Review


"If ever a play accurately summed up Aristotle’s definition of drama, it’s Anna Ziegler’s ‘The Last Match’...'Match' aspires to something bigger, more meaningful, than a tennis match. Ziegler writes great repartee, which is nothing to sniff at. But her play is formless and whatever point it hopes to score is lost in a squishy ending. It doesn’t work, either as metaphor or tragedy – not even as imitation.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if your into tennis. interesting way of performing a tennis themed show on stage

Don't see it if you are not interested tennis

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you like good dramatic intimate acting and good writing. Well done.

Don't see it if you're looking for razzle-dazzle entertainment

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy great acting and surprises in the script

Don't see it if you hate shows about any sport even if it involves personal events and ideas

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if you like a good character study. actors do a great job of getting inside the heads of the characters.

Don't see it if you go to limited shows . there are more special choices

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you are supporter of Roundabout, you want to see an interesting story told in a way that will keep you watching.

Don't see it if you need big staging, multiple characters, or big stars.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you like tennis and theater. If you like character studies over action.

Don't see it if you need straightforward and linear narrative

Great acting, Slow, Entertaining, Great staging, Sports-centered

See it if You enjoy competition sports, and the drama behind the players’ lives. Interesting insight into the stress of staying on top. Love story

Don't see it if You do not like tennis. You expect an elaborate set. You cannot listen to a bouncing ball without an intermission.

Also The set lighting, and sound design are wonderful.... Read more Read less

Not a must catch

See it if It helps to love tennis. Soak up USTA environment in midtown wintertime w sleek set. Leads look and sound like jocks. Four interesting chars

Don't see it if You need resolution. Play ends on a gentle philosophical note with no POV.

Also Last show, first row. Wish I'd seen it twice. Nice contrast of Russian... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you love the world of competitive tennis. Great acting and staging.

Don't see it if don't like engaging theater.

Ambitious, Great acting, Slow

See it if you want to see a sports play that goes beyond the sport and becomes about what the important things in life are and escaping one's demons.

Don't see it if you hate tennis. If you need a lot of drama and constant action this is not the play for you.

Great acting, Slow, Entertaining

See it if Wish to hear what goes on inside the minds of elite athletes.

Don't see it if Wish for more of a story and want resolution at the end (though that was not the point).

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if like tennis and sports in general

Don't see it if you don't appreciate a good game in sports

Also The play held my interest all the way.... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Banal, Great staging

See it if you are a serious tennis player or just a fan, and enjoy creative plays that are well-acted and directed. This one is fun and interesting.

Don't see it if you don't understand the game of tennis and how it is scored, and if you don't like plays about competitive sports and athletes.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You love tennis & plays that make you fill in the details. Amazing how you find yourself immersed in a game wo a ball being bounced

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy thinking/analyzing message plays. Not just about tennis but doing what you love & sticking w/it through life’s ups & downs

Also A diner menu is overwhelming. When they have a special, order it!

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Slow

See it if want to see a quartet of intense performances that reach out in a very direct way to the audience.

Don't see it if require traditional scenes. Much of this play's story is told in direct address to the audience.

Also As much as I admire this work, I think the story would have been more ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging, Sports oriented

See it if You want to see a great sports oriented piece of theater that won’t bore you to death. Great acting and staging!

Don't see it if You absolutely hate Tennis or sports oriented material. Cannot sit through shows with no intermission.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you are thinking about what is important in your life.

Don't see it if you need lots of characters and splashy set.

Clever, Riveting, Great staging, Well written, Very well performed

See it if you would like a well crafted drama on a sports theme but including many tangential issues. A tad predictable, but still worthwhile.

Don't see it if the subject of tennis bores you.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Quirky, Confusing, Slow

See it if You’re a tennis fan. Shows 2 players in the semi-finals at the US Open. Shows what they’re thinking about as thry’re Playiing. Flashacks.

Don't see it if If you’re not a tennis fan, you might be bored. I was.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Convincing acting

See it if You’re a tennis fan or are a type A personality or feel that what you do is who you are. Clever staging and acting provide realism.

Don't see it if If you aren’t a sports fan or need a more compelling plot than two tennis rivals acting out their insecurities on stage.

Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You like great staging and no intermissions

Don't see it if You need something more original

Insightful, Absorbing, Enchanting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Delve into the minds of two competing athletes and their spouses. Their insecurities, setbacks in life, and personal challenges.

Don't see it if You want more intensity and depth. This is a pleasant, moderately dramatic exploration of four characters and their relationships.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Thought-provoking

See it if Like Tennis, are interested in the inner thoughts/lives of professional athletes, like plays that go back and forth in time

Don't see it if Want a musical, aren't interested in the potential humanity of professional athletes, want a traditional plotted play

Great acting, Intense, Refreshing, Great writing, Emotional

See it if Intensely confrontational drama that juggles brilliantly among the two male leads. Superb acting and easily relatable

Don't see it if Minimalistic setting and costumes. Far from flashy, big production. More internal conflict than anything else

Also If you know how scoring works in Tennis, that’s all you need to know.

Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Great staging

See it if You love tennis and all the players.

Don't see it if You want more of a metaphor than tennis in your theater.

Cast & Creatives (11)