Playwright James Ijames’ Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Fat Ham, a take-off of Hamlet set at a Southern Black family’s cook-out, will make its Broadway debut this spring, beginning previews on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at the American Airlines Theatre ahead of an official opening on Wednesday, April 12. The strictly limited 14-week engagement runs through Sunday, August 6.
The production will feature the director – Saheem Ali – and cast from the Public Theater’s acclaimed 2022 Off Broadway staging, with performers Nikki Crawford, Chris Herbie Holland, Billy Eugene Jones, Adrianna Mitchell, Calvin Leon Smith, Marcel Spears and Benja Kay Thomas reprising their roles.
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Fat Ham on Broadway will be produced by Rashad V. Chambers, No Guarantees and Public Theater Productions. Andy Jones and Dylan Pager will serve as Executive Producers.
“Every once in a while, we experience a play that is embraced by the audience with an almost shocking joy,” the producers said in a joint statement. “When that happens, when the audience greets the production with a hunger that demonstrates the show is exactly what they need and want, the theater explodes. It’s the most exciting experience available to us theater-makers. Such a play, such a production, is Fat Ham.”
Roundabout Theatre Company, which operates the American Airlines Theatre, is not the producer of Fat Ham, but Roundabout will offer the show to subscribers as part of its 2022-23 season.
The synopsis: Juicy (Spears) 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. 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.
The creative team for Fat Ham includes Maruti Evans (Scenic Design), Dominique Fawn Hill (Costume Design), Bradley King (Lighting Design), Mikaal Sulaiman (Sound Design), Darrell Grand Moultrie (Choreographer), Earon Chew Nealey (Hair and Wig Design), and Skylar Fox (Illusions Design).
Fat Ham was commissioned by and received its world premiere as a filmed production at The Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, and went on to win the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It made its New York premiere in the sold-out 2022 run at The Public Theater.
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