Balls OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Emon Hassan
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 25, 2018
    Closing:
    February 25, 2018

    Theater: 59E59 Theaters / 59 East 59th St., New York, NY, 10022

    Synopsis: 

    It's 1973, and Houston's Astrodome is playing host to one of the biggest cultural events of all time: Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs face off in a "battle of the sexes" tennis match. Balls is a high-intensity theatrical retelling of this unforgettable match and the cultural debates it ignited about sexism, women in sports, and equality. One Year Lease's signature high-energy physical style embraces the carnival atmosphere of the original event and features a shot-by-shot rendition of the entire match.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Balls

    In ‘Balls,’ Billie Jean and Bobby Come Out Swinging

    Jesse Green

    January 24, 2018:

    The first game of the first set of the so-called Battle of the Sexes — the $100,000 winner-take-all tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973 — is marvelously reproduced in a new play called “Balls.” The action proceeds in real time, shot by shot, perfectly synchronized to a soundtrack of racket tapping, score keeping, sneaker squeaking and thwacks.

    Unfortunately, there are 27 games to go.

    One thing I have to say for “Balls,” which opened on Wednesday at 59E59 Theater, is that it has … a lot of nerve. Plays about sports are not often very good, plays about tennis even less so, and this particular contest — recently the subject of the film “Battle of the Sexes” — would seem to be overmined. Even if stage directors can invoke the audience’s imagination to fill in the blanks, filling in so many gets tiring fast.

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