If Hamlet were to partake in karaoke, the troubled prince might perform Radiohead’s “Creep.” In James Ijames’s Pulitzer Prize-winning tragicomedy Fat Ham, the character Juicy, loosely based on Shakespeare’s forlorn prince, does just that. The rock song’s moody lyrics about searching for masculinity and self-worth are fitting for Hamlet — and his Black, gay derivative. This riff on the Bard’s tragedy takes place at a backyard barbecue in the South. Juicy (Marcel Spears) and his family are...
Fat Ham on Broadway Tickets
Fat Ham on Broadway Information
Following a New York premiere at The Public Theater in May 2022, James Ijames's Pulitzer-winning and play Fat Ham is firing up the grill again on Broadway, now earning five Tony nominations including Best Play. Get Fat Ham tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
Fat Ham is a play that follows Juicy, a queer, Southern college kid at a family backyard barbecue — specifically, a barbecue that serves as Juicy's mom's and uncle's wedding reception. While there, Juicy plans to avenge his father's murder (at his father's ghost's personal request). His uncle has seemingly committed the crime and certainly married Juicy's mother, in the hopes of getting his hands on Juicy's college fund and the family's restaurant. Juicy is familiar with Hamlet — in which Shakespeare's titular prince gets a visit from his father's ghost and vows revenge on his uncle/stepfather — so he feels like he's living a familiar story.
But unlike Hamlet, Juicy struggles with his queer identity and liberation on top of his new quest, and he has doubts about committing violence to avenge violence. A New York Times review described Fat Ham as a play about "how a Black man — crucially, a gay one — may resist the cycle of inherited trauma even as it tempts him, whether in the form of a ghost or a literary tradition." Fat Ham is a comic tragedy that reexamines Shakespeare's landmark work with modernity and soul food.
Playwright James Ijames is based in Philadelphia, but his work has appeared both in Philly and Off-Broadway in New York. Fat Ham made its world premiere in Philadelphia, although virtually — after the pandemic shut down an in-person production at the Wilma Theater, director Morgan Green filmed the production outdoors instead (on a full-fledged backyard barbecue set) and released it for streaming.
The Public Theater production, Fat Ham's in-person premiere, began three days after the show won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. That run sold out and then some, extending more than once due to demand.
Saheem Ali, who recently directed Jocelyn Bioh's Nollywood Dreams at MCC Theater and helmed the Public's Shakespeare in the Park production of Merry Wives, directed Fat Ham in New York at the Public. He returns to direct Fat Ham on Broadway, which features the entire acclaimed Off-Broadway cast, including Tony nominees Marcel Spears and Nikki Crawford. Ali also earned a 2023 Tony Award nomination for his direction.
Where is Fat Ham playing?
Fat Ham is at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway, located on 42nd Street. The venue is owned by Roundabout Theatre Company, but this production is not affiliated with Roundabout.
How can I get Fat Ham tickets?
Fat Ham tickets are available on New York Theatre Guide. Get Fat Ham Broadway tickets now.
1hr 35min (no intermission)
March 21st, 2023
June 25th, 2023
American Airlines Theatre
Cast and creative
By: James Ijames
Director: Saheem Ali
Choreography: Darrell Moultrie
Cast list: Marcel Spears (as Juicy), Nikki Crawford (as Tedra), Chris Herbie Holland (as Tio), Billy Eugene Jones (as Rev/Papp), Adrianna Mitchell (as Opal), Calvin Leon Smith (as Larry), Benja Kay Thomas (as Rabby)
Design: Maruti Evans
Costume: Dominique Fawn Hill
Lighting: Bradley King
Sound: Mikaal Sulaiman
Other info: Hair and wig design by Earon Chew Nealey, illusions by Skylar Fox, fight direction by Lisa Kopitsky, singing coaching by Deborah Lapidus
Latest Fat Ham on Broadway News & Features
For the past 105 years, the Pulitzer Prizes have highlighted achievements in the arts, journalism, and literature. Many notable and impactful plays have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, but that’s not the be-all-end-all of their recognition. Six Pulitzer-winning plays, classic and new, went up this Broadway season alone. What’s more, they all earned Tony nominations: Fat Ham, Topdog/Underdog, Between Riverside and Crazy, Cost of Living, The Piano Lesson, and Death of a Salesman....
The United States has long seen cultural divides between its North and South. However, this Broadway season, Tony-nominated shows remind audiences that the Bible Belt is not a monolith — many peoples, traditions, and politics inhabit the American South. “There are a lot of queer people that live in the South,” said James Ijames, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fat Ham, a riff on Hamlet that centers Black queerness in a culture of toxic masculinity, is now nominated for the Tony Award for Best...
As professed by one of the characters in Fat Ham, a play set at a Southern cookout awash with the aroma of BBQ ribs, the key to tasty barbecue is a perfectly spiced rub. The same can be said of theatre. A play needs spice — full-bodied characters, sizzling tension, delicious performances and visuals — to be something audiences want to sink their teeth into. Playwright James Ijames has proven he's nailed that recipe, having followed up his 2022 Pulitzer Prize win for Fat Ham with a Best Play Tony...
Come join the cookout! The Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play Fat Ham is offering digital rush tickets via TodayTix for its entire Broadway run. Performances began last night ahead of an April 12 opening, and the play is at the American Airlines Theatre until July 2 only. Rush tickets will be available for $39 on the TodayTix app. Beginning at 9 a.m. each performance day, users can purchase up to two tickets for that day's performance on a first-come, first-served basis. Users can set an alert...
"Hamlet takes place in a high royal court, so they have class and stature to uphold," noted Chris Herbie Holland, an actor in Broadway's Fat Ham, a new play that sends up Shakespeare's revenge tragedy. "We're at a cookout." Translation: Royal decorum doesn't apply to this cast. In James Ijames's comedy — which won a Pulitzer Prize days before its Off-Broadway debut in 2022 — the action takes place at a modern Black family's barbecue in the South. Hamlet's quest to murder his uncle for murdering...
The play's the thing — again! Less than a year after James Ijames's Fat Ham debuted (and repeatedly extended) at The Public Theater and won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, audiences will get to feast on this show once more when it makes its Broadway debut at the American Airlines Theatre in March 2023. Fat Ham is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, this time featuring a queer college student named Juicy and much more barbecued pork. A four-star review of the show on New York Theatre Guide...
Fire up the grill! After a world-premiere Off-Broadway run, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fat Ham has set a Broadway transfer. Performances will begin at the American Airlines Theatre on March 21 ahead of an April 12 opening night, with the limited engagement running through June 25. James Ijames's play is a send-up of Shakespeare's Hamlet, setting the action at a present-day Southern barbecue. Its central character — a Black, queer man named Juicy — is tasked with killing his uncle to avenge...
Who's ready for a feast? The grill's fired up and a celebration is underway at the American Airlines Theatre, where James Ijames's Fat Ham is bringing the barbecue on Broadway following its live, New York premiere in 2022 at The Public Theater. This send-up of Shakespeare's Hamlet substitutes a Black, queer college kid named Juicy for the Danish prince. They both have similar ambitions of revenge — maybe.Knowing Hamlet isn't necessary to understand Fat Ham: Ijames's play is similar enough that...
To be or not to be a Shakespeare fan, that is the question — but even if you couldn't understand his writing in high school, you've probably enjoyed his stories in some way or another. If you know all the lyrics to West Side Story by heart, grew up watching The Lion King, or have an over-watched DVD of She's the Man, you have the Bard to thank. There's plenty of Shakespeare theatre to catch this season as well. In New York, the boozy Bard spoof Drunk Shakespeare is still enjoying its...
The winners of the 2022 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This year's winner is James Ijames's Fat Ham, with Kristina Wong: Sweatshop Overlord and Sylvia Khoury's Selling Kabul also being honored as finalists for the prize.Fat Ham is "a funny, poignant play that deftly transposes Hamlet to a family barbecue in the American South to grapple with questions of identity, kinship, responsibility, and honesty," said the Pulitzer announcement of the show's...
The Public Theater and National Black Theatre's production of Fat Ham has found its cast. Making its New York premiere this spring, James Ijames's reinvention of Shakespeare's Hamlet begins performances May 12 ahead of a May 26 opening night.Marcel Spears leads Fat Ham as Juicy, and the rest of the cast includes Nikki Crawford as Tedra, Chris Herbie Holland as Tio, Billy Eugene Jones as Rev and Papp, Adrianna Mitchell as Opal, Calvin Leon Smith as Larry, and Benja Kay Thomas as Rabby.The full...