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  • Rayshaun


This week, the Realemn team had the pleasure of attending the one and only cookout currently happening on Broadway and it was JUICY!

After a blockbuster off-Broadway run at the Public Theater, 'Fat Ham', the Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by James Ijames is now cooking things up and coming in HOT on the great white way!

Reimagining the William Shakespeare classic, Hamlet, 'Fat Ham' inserts a not-so-common leading player, in the form of a young Black queer kid named, Juicy. From his father’s recent passing - after being shanked in prison (allegedly ordered by his own brother!)- to his mother now marrying his uncle (its giving the grandma’s the baby! :D) Juicy is at a loss when his father’s ghost appears to him, and makes a lofe altering request! Sound familiar?! What will Juicy do?! Will this play end the way it’s always been?!

With direction by Saheem Ali, this play is deliciously orchestrated and uplifted with Black queerness, and culture all while giving the occasional nod and semblances of its classical predecessor.

Marcel Spears, in the leading role, represents an often-marginalized group of folk, giving a unique, yet niche performance, he reminds us that Blackness and queerness can be defined in many ways, okay?! Theatre vets Billy Eugene Jones, and Nikki Crawford excel in their roles as Pap/Rev and Tedra respectively. The rest of this standout cast include Chris Herbie Holland, Adrianna Mitchell, Calvin Leon Smith and the one and only, Benja Kay Thomas! Go off, y’all!

Fat Ham has been a delectable labor of love, produced by our friends, Rashad Chambers, Colman Domingo, the Public Theater, and the National Black Theatre (among others)! The set design by Maruti Evans put me right back in my own auntie’s backyard where we fellowshipped over barbecue and good times at cookouts in the Black South. Dominque Fawn Hill’s costume design was also a sight to see, honey! Also, I can’t forget Darrell Grand Moultrie’s choreography! While staying true to the finale dance numbers in many Shakespeare productions, Fat Ham’s ending number gives the girls a joyful disco/ballroom extravaganza-inspired moment! It truly gives us all we love to see!

You don’t want to miss this one, friends. Go see Fat Ham at the American Airlines Theatre and get your life! Bring your Tupperware because you’ll want to take home some leftovers from this juicy cookout! 😊

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