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Fat Ham on Broadway
Fat Ham on Broadway
Winter Theatre Sale

Fat Ham on Broadway

New York, NY
A Southern cookout is the setting of this wild reimagination of Hamlet.
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About Fat Ham on Broadway

FAT HAM, the deliciously funny, Pulitzer Prize-winning new play, comes to Broadway following a critically acclaimed, sold-out run at The Public Theater. Playwright James Ijames and Director Saheem Ali reinvent Shakespeare’s masterpiece, creating what The New York Times calls “a hilarious yet profound tragedy smothered in comedy.”

Juicy is a queer, Southern college kid, already grappling with some serious questions of identity, when the ghost of his father shows up in their backyard, demanding that Juicy avenge his murder. But here’s the rub! Revenge doesn’t come easy to Juicy, a sensitive and self-aware young Black man in search of his own happiness and liberation. From an uproarious family cookout emerges a compelling examination of love and loss, pain and joy.

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Tell Me More

Fire up the grill and feast on some great theatre at Fat Ham, a queer, food-filled, modern take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. After making its New York debut at The Public Theater, the Pulitzer-winning play invites audiences to the cookout on Broadway. Get Fat Ham tickets on TodayTix.

As the title may suggest, Fat Ham is a play inspired by Hamlet, but this version is set at an outdoor cookout in the South where Juicy, a college student, is supposed to be celebrating his mother Tedra’s second marriage. But since his mom is marrying his uncle — who killed Juicy’s father to secure Tedra, Juicy’s college savings, and the family business — Juicy’s not interested in celebrating. In fact, the ghost of Pap (Juicy’s father) has just visited him and asked for revenge, and that’s what Juicy’s planning to get.

Until this point, Juicy’s story resembles Hamlet’s. But the protagonists differ in their approach to revenge. Hamlet thinks committing his uncle’s murder is a nobler and better act than just thinking about it, but Juicy — a queer, Black man fighting for his own liberation — doubts whether he must avenge violence with violence like Hamlet did, and wonders what another way might look like. Fat Ham is a Hamlet adaptation, but it’s also a challenge to the cycle of violence within Shakespeare's play and within society.

Fat Ham is directed by Saheem Ali (represented off Broadway in 2021 with the Public’s Merry Wives and MCC Theater’s Nollywood Dreams) and written by James Ijames, who has debuted work in Philadelphia and New York. His plays include Kill Move Paradise, whose 2017 Off-Broadway production was a New York Times Critics’ Pick; Moon Man Walk; and The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington, among others.

Fat Ham is his newest play, which made its digital world premiere with Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater after the in-person production was canceled amid the pandemic. Fat Ham off Broadway marked the show’s New York debut.

Gather the family and experience joy and suspense in equal measure at this delicious comedy/drama. Get tickets to Fat Ham in New York on TodayTix now.

What to Watch For

  • The entire Off-Broadway cast of Fat Ham returns for the Broadway premiere.
  • The principal characters in Fat Ham directly correlate with Hamlet characters. Juicy, of course, is Hamlet, and his parents Pap and Tedra represent Hamlet’s parents, leaving Juicy’s uncle as the Claudius figure. Some of the supporting characters even have similar names to their Shakespearean counterparts: Opal and Larry, for example, stand in for Ophelia and Laertes, and Tio represents Horatio.
  • The Public Theater stage transformed into an outdoor cookout for Fat Ham. When Wilma Theater’s in-person production was canceled, director Morgan Green presented it virtually instead, and the show was actually filmed outdoors to make the backyard barbecue setting as realistic as possible.
  • Fat Ham was destined for success before live performances even began. Three days before Fat Ham premiered off Broadway, the show won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
  • Prophecies often show up in Shakespeare plays, and the same goes, inadvertently, for Ijames’s. The play isn’t set during the pandemic, but Juicy happens to attend his college classes online. The ghost of his father gripes, “You going to school on a laptop!” and calls his son’s education a scam. Little did he know that would soon become the norm…
Start date

March 21st, 2023

End date

June 25th, 2023


Plays, Broadway


American Airlines Theatre

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