Review: Rec Rooms Slams Dunk with KING JAMES

What did our critic think of REC ROOMS SLAMS DUNK WITH KING JAMES at Rec Room Arts?

By: Mar. 06, 2024
Review: Rec Rooms Slams Dunk with KING JAMES
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Review: Rec Rooms Slams Dunk with KING JAMES
Antonio Lasanta and Blake Weir in King James
Photo by Tasha Gorel

Sports. The word with various meanings, but always seems to perpetuate a game, a sparring of two teams or two people. This battle is well done on-stage with Rec Room Arts, King James. Rajiv Joseph’s expert play book ends the friendship of two male Cavaliers fans at the start of Lebron James career with the Cleveland team, and ends with the Cavalier winning the NBA finals in 2016. The ups and downs of the pair of friends, Matt (Blake Weir) and Shawn (Antonio Lasanta), guides the stage as a reflection of how basketball brings people together, and also how it can separate them. 

Review: Rec Rooms Slams Dunk with KING JAMES
Antonio Lasanta and Blake Weir in King James
Photo by Tasha Gorel

I have known about this play for a while. Usually avoiding any commentary or news because I am not into sports. Growing up in the San Antonio Spurs era of multiple NBA Championships, I didn’t participate in the same festivities as others. Due to this, growing up, I never understood the fanaticism people had for sports. Then as I got in my car to leave from this show and I had the thought “I missed my favorite reality series, I need to know who wins this week's challenge.” I realized “Oh, I am just like these characters.”

Review: Rec Rooms Slams Dunk with KING JAMES
Antonio Lasanta and Blake Weir in King James
Photo by Tasha Gorel

Rec Room Arts brings Joseph’s play to incredible life. Don’t be fooled by the title, while it is about basketball, Joseph writes a narrative of the connections one makes when they find others that have similar interests. If your not into stadium culture, this play serves as a reminder that fans and the connections they make with one another often drive life decisions. While this is a slice of life play, King James does the impossible by bringing to light those tiny moments of chaos, fun, and ultimately attachments we have of the things we are a fan of. 

Review: Rec Rooms Slams Dunk with KING JAMES
Antonio Lasanta and Blake Weir in King James
Photo by Tasha Gorel

Blake Weir and Antonio Lasanta are doing an excellent job in this two-hander. They each shine in their own regard but also are clearly a team in this play. Weir as the spoiled, whiny, and ambitious Matt is well done. You can’t help but to feel something when he provides colorful commentary on why “This is wrong with America.” Lasanta on the other hand is extremely earnest in his acting and is doing some incredible heavy lifting as Shawn. One moment to look out for is when race is brought into the equation. I could barely hold my breath as to how the conversation would end, as I was heavily invested in their relationship at that point. 

Design elements of this production are stunning. Scenic Designer, Stefan Azizi, has done it again. The entire set feels so realistic, and when the stage flips it becomes such a striking counter. The ticket price alone is worth the set change. In fact all the design elements are worth the price of admission. 

I highly encourage anyone to see King James. You don’t have to know about basketball, sports, but instead walk into it with an open mind and remember 

Review: Rec Rooms Slams Dunk with KING JAMES
Antonio Lasanta and Blake Weir in King James
Photo by Tasha Gorel

King James is playing at Rec Room Arts until Sunday, March 16. Tickets can be bought at recroomarts.org. 




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