Already closed | 1h 20m | East Village

Josh: The Black Babe Ruth

From 31 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

About the show

This biographical drama about African-American baseball great Josh Gibson returns to Theater for the New City for an encore presentation in honor of Black History Month. More…

Set in the '40s, 'Josh: The Black Babe Ruth' tells the story of Gibson's rise from the sandlots of Pittsburgh’s North Side to the pinnacle of greatness in the Negro Leagues. The play examines Gibson's successes, sorrows, and struggles as he tried to try to break into the big leagues in an era when the sport was still segregated. 

Member Reviews (31)


Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining
Avg Score

Strong acting, Well-staged, Relevant, Long, Disappointing script

See it if Strong ensemble cast (3 men, 2 women). Well-chosen projections for social context. Music well-integrated. Transformed space. Ran about 2 hrs

Don't see it if you want strong story telling. Simple plot: Josh Gibson wants to be a major-leaguer. Not a rich portrayal; gets repetitive. Slow pace.

Also I liked JOSH for the hard-working/skillful performances, but the scrip... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Intelligent, Quirky, Relevant, Funny

See it if 4 character bio about Josh Gibson’s stymied ambition to break into MLB. Live scenes, slide shows, and singer/guitarist. Informative.

Don't see it if This vanilla bio might be better done as a 60-min TV show. The live drama scenes were colorful but not gripping. Some fun improv w audience.

Informative, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Dated

See it if you are interested in baseball in general, the Negro Leagues in particular or in life in Black America in the years during & after WWII.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to the longstanding, somewhat musty conventions of telling a biography on the stage.

Also All 5 actors in “JOSH” are terrific. One of them also plays a mean cou... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Tells some of Josh story/baseball how he always was trying to get into the major leagues of baseball. You don't have to like baseball.

Don't see it if No reason not to see this play.

Also Photos are on the screen some of them, a lot of them are very unsettli... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like a drama about a man who had great talent but also great problems. The acting is excellent and at times very moving.

Don't see it if you don't like a play that discusses racial prejudice. There are some very disturbing film involving lynching. Do not bring young kids.

Also I know the lynching film had to do with the times but I think this sho... Read more Read less

Cliched, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if You want to see a play about A historical black icon

Don't see it if You are expecting this to be about baseball

Also While the cast does an OK job they cannot overcome a poorly written sc... Read more Read less

A series of loose vignettes rather than a play., Energetic, Using stereotypes as a shorthand for character.

See it if You don't mind untempered stereotypes. If you think that vignettes make up a play.

Don't see it if You want to learn anything indepth about Josh Gibson/ Satchel Paige and the Negro Leagues.

Also I was raised on stories of Satchel Paige and the Negro Leagues. I have... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great writing, Great acting, Masterful, Resonant

See it if you want to see a show which seamlessly integrates how societal and personal demons can destroy a man

Don't see it if you want to fantasize that social issues do not effect peoples lives

Also I know some reviewers have criticized the "speed" of the scene changes... Read more Read less

Funny, Great acting, Must see, Thought-provoking, Informative

See it if You want to learn some interesting facts about what it took for some athletes to get into the majors. You want to see a great performance

Don't see it if You are not interested in what Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige and other athletes had to come up against to get into the majors.

Also I loved the interaction that the performers had with each other and th... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant

See it if you have an interest in baseball, the Negro Leagues, and the discriminatory policies in America.

Don't see it if you have a problem with actors breaking the fourth wall -- not my favorite part of the play.

Also Two plusses: the musical accompaniment and the stunning visual images ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Slow, Cliched, True story, Interesting

See it if True story of Negro League player Josh Gibson in the 1940s & his quest for the major leagues. Enhanced w/historical photo projections.

Don't see it if Fine, strong acting is undermined by a weak script. A shame because this is a true and fascinating story, but here it isn't told coherently.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Slow, Confusing

See it if You want to see some great actors performing a play with some good ideas, but that never quite hits its stride.

Don't see it if You don't like breaking the fourth wall.

Ambitious, Exuberant acting, Relevant, Historically significant, Well staged for venue

See it if You like explorations of American historical figures, civil rights stories, or baseball and its history.

Don't see it if You want your plays fully baked.

Also Energetic acting, clever breaking of the 4th wall, and good musical ac... Read more Read less

Delightful, Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Profound

See it if You want to see a story about baseball and civil rights. The singing and scene changes and costumes are also great for an off broadway.

Don't see it if You want the feel good story only.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Educational, Funny

See it if you enjoy baseball history, particularly a story about Negro League players and their struggle trying to make it into the Major Leagues

Don't see it if you're not interested in baseball, specifically Negro League history

Also A great show, well-acted, highlighting two of the Negro League basebal... Read more Read less

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if Don't. The cast tries, but can't overcome a terribly written script. Cliche filler scenes. Guitar interludes. Videos of lynchings, unlabeled

Don't see it if There must be a decent documentary about Josh Gibson.

Ambitious, Good acting, Good writing

See it if You are interested in general in black history, especially about sports greats

Don't see it if You're not interested in black history or sports history, or if you are disturbed by visual images that depict lynching

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if Like drama based on real experiences, if you enjoy exploring dramatic relationships, add a few points if you love baseball

Don't see it if Josh is the story but baseball is highly involved so if you hate baseball skip it, if you prefer big productions or musicals, also skip it

Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Awesome play!

See it if A true story of legendary black baseball player Josh Gibson and is struggle against racism. Featuring his good friend the legendary pitcher

Don't see it if You do not like history.

Also Satchel Paige, his wife & mistress.... Read more Read less

Great acting, Riveting, Great creative team, A tribute to all marginalized talent!, Touching story!

See it if a real story of Negro Baseball League's great player Josh Gibson & the history of unfair race discrimination in early American sports

Don't see it if U don't like sports/player stories or uncomfortable with racial segregation. U really should see this intelligently produced riveting drama.

Also This is an intelligently directed & staged play about 1 of baseball's ... Read more Read less

Cliched, Disappointing, Dated, Relevant

See it if Baseball is your calling and an old-time hero that never got enough breaks to make it big intrigues you

Don't see it if Local theatre vibe with acceptable acting that never stirred any emotions out of me (except one scene with the audience). Heavy on affairs

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You like baseball history and want to see a good ensemble cast.

Don't see it if the East village is a little too seedy for you or you want something with a happy ending

Also The play is constructed in episodes. My only complaint is that the tra... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You want to see a wonderfully acted, very engaging and thoughtful show which includes a talented live musician.

Don't see it if You’re not into heading to the trendy lower east side to see an inexpensive play.

Also I absolutely loved this show and I’m so glad it was brought back for B... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, A little slow

See it if you would enjoy a heartfelt, historically-significant drama with simple staging that is carried forward by fine acting.

Don't see it if You are not interested in a play related to the struggle against racism, or prefer fluffy plays with happy endings.

Also I am not a baseball fan but still enjoyed this play very much. Beware,... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You like historical theater, baseball, good music, and thought provoking storytelling

Don't see it if You're interested in fictional stories, or don't like small productions.

February 13th, 2018
"A baseball story through and through, with draw and delight for fans of theater, fans of history, and baseball fans more used to taking a seat in a stadium than a theater...A live multimedia event...Expertly told by four actors who give us clearly drawn characters. Their performances can only be...
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