The Last Play at Shea
Directed by Paul Crowder and Jon Small
As “The Last Play at Shea” begins, the camera soars over the Manhattan skyline before veering east — across the Queensboro Bridge and toward the late Shea Stadium.
It’s a fitting, poetic opening for this terrific documentary, which uses enthralling footage of Billy Joel’s final concerts at Shea in 2008 as the hook to launch an exploration of the essence of Mets fandom.
Heartfelt testimonies and stark archival footage centered on both the Amazins’ bond with Shea and Joel’s ascent to superstardom illuminate the franchise’s enduring resonance as the team of the forgotten, blue-collar, Long Island little guy.
The Mets don’t have the Yankees’ cachet. In fact, they’re often laughably bad. But all one need do is experience the emotion evident in every bar sung by the Levittown-raised Piano Man to understand the team’s inextricable place at the heart of this city.
If you go: “The Last Play at Shea” plays Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Ziegfeld Theater. 141 W. 54th St., 212-307- 1862. $20.