Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph's King James comes to New York after premiering at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Abbott Elementary's Chris Perfetti and Steppenwolf artistic director Glenn Davis star. Get King James tickets now.
The King James play begins in 2004, the rookie season of LeBron James — and the year when two Cleveland men, Matt and Shawn, meet to negotiate a sale for Cavaliers season tickets. That meeting reveals their shared interest in basketball, which allows the men to form a deep bond. But their differing views on the career of their NBA idol also exposes rifts in their relationship, as they grow apart and grow back together over the course of 12 years.
The play is divided into four scenes (a nod to the four quarters of basketball games) that correlate with key moments in James's career: his rookie season, the year he left the Cavaliers for Miami, the year he returned, and the year James led the Cavaliers to their first NBA championship.
King James off Broadway follows its world premiere a little closer to Cleveland. The Steppenwolf production went up in spring 2022, also starring Davis and Perfetti. The show received widespread acclaim, with the Chicago Tribune calling King James "a moving, accessible and openhearted story."
Joseph was last represented off Broadway in 2021 with Letters of Suresh. He's also known for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and Animals Out of Paper.
Davis just appeared off Broadway in another Steppenwolf transfer, Downstate, in fall 2022. He previously appeared in Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Broadway, opposite Robin Williams, and in TV shows including The Good Wife and Billions. He's also the first artistic director of color in Steppenwolf history.
Perfetti is currently known for his role as Jacob Hill on the Emmy-winning TV sitcom Abbott Elementary. He's also a stage veteran, having appeared in Off-Broadway shows including The Low Road, Everybody, and The Tempest. He last appeared off Broadway in 2019's Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, and has also acted in two Broadway shows: Picnic and Six Degrees of Separation.
Directing is Kenny Leon, who just directed two Broadway shows in fall 2022: Ohio State Murders and Topdog/Underdog.
Get tickets to King James in New York.
May 2nd, 2023
June 18th, 2023
175 reviews on Show-Score
By: Rajiv Joseph
Producer: Manhattan Theatre Club
Cast list: Glenn Davis (as Shawn), Chris Perfetti (as Matt), Khloe Janel (as the DJ)
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