Fat Ham NYC Reviews and Tickets

(182 Reviews)
Members say
Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

A modern-day reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet centered around a queer, Black man. 

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Member Reviews (182)

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712 Reviews | 216 Followers
Surprising, Intense, Relevant, Funny, Clever

See it if Fat queer young black man is beckoned to avenge his father's death. Surprising events ensue. Colorful characters. Spectacular ending.

Don't see it if You wouldn't enjoy a show about seeking identity amidst toxic black masculinity.

708 Reviews | 156 Followers
Thought-provoking, Biting, Funny, Great acting, Clever

See it if You enjoy riffs on Shakespeare, contemporary comedies, stories focusing on black families and gay offspring, backyard revelry

Don't see it if You don’t like gay content or stories about black families, afraid you’ll need to be familiar with Hamlet, can’t get black or gay humor

642 Reviews | 127 Followers
Must see, Refreshing, Great acting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if Funny Great Show that does Hamlet in modern day with some funny characters.

Don't see it if want original Shakespeare, this is very modern day, but still Shakespeare.

629 Reviews | 232 Followers
Funny, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You’re ready for a clever, relevant play that’s also equal parts funny & entertaining. (And it doesn’t ostracize non-Black audiences!)

Don't see it if You’re looking for a heavy drama, or something that doesn’t rehash Shakespearean plots. Snobs may not find this exactly “Pulitzer-worthy”.

534 Reviews | 132 Followers
Must see, Refreshing, Great acting, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if Most fun I've had at theater for quite some time; funny, modern take on the original; everything is different yet the same, but more fun.

Don't see it if U don't like anyone messing with your Shakespeare. Modern day issues come into play but the original story is there. It's a hammy Hamlet. Read more

470 Reviews | 65 Followers

See it if Tragedy and intergenerational trauma may haunt us, but perhaps we have more agency than we realize. Maybe we can choose liberation, joy, etc

Don't see it if Non-traditional Shakespeare adaptation, N word, queer characters aren't your thing. 1.5 hours; no intermission. Read more

457 Reviews | 87 Followers
Relevant, Resonant, Confusing, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy modern-day comedic adaptations of Shakespeare’s tragedies.

Don't see it if you don’t enjoy Shakespeare’s stories set in the modern day.

455 Reviews | 51 Followers
Edgy, Entertaining, Funny

See it if a non-traditional riff on Hamlet with a southern queer viewpoint.

Don't see it if like standard Shakespeare.

Critic Reviews (19)

The New York Times
May 26th, 2022

"For all that Ijames dismantles in Shakespeare’s original text, he builds it back up into something that’s more — more tragic but also more joyous, more comedic, more political, more contemporary. ... 'To be or not to be' becomes a different kind of existential query. It’s not a question of life or death, but of who we can decide to be in a world that tries to define that for us: Can you be soft? Can you be queer? Can you be brave? Can you be honest?"
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Time Out New York
June 6th, 2022

"5/5 Stars! The outlines of James Ijames's delicious riff on 'Hamlet' are Shakespearean, but the point and the punch lines—and most of the poetry—are the playwright's own...'Fat Ham' keeps you cackling so consistently that the play's sudden acts of cruelty land like punches in the gut...Director Saheem Ali makes sure every laugh lands and that the broad performances never slip into stereotype."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
May 26th, 2022

"Ijames and Ali create a magnificently silly farce-climax, followed by a sublimely glittery reality-breaking denouement. And between these two sequences came my favorite moment. After the peak of the action, when the characters realize that the rules of dramaturgy do not need to apply to them, they relinquish their strenuously noisy performances and just talk."
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The Wall Street Journal
May 26th, 2022

"On its own terms, the play is an unalloyed pleasure: clever in its allusions to and occasional modest borrowings from Shakespeare’s mighty drama, frank and funny in its depiction of a family in the throes of transition, and acted with infectious exuberance."
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The Observer
May 26th, 2022

"Once you get past the sitcommy outlines of the project, the uniqueness of Ijames’s voice and his critique of genre becomes more apparent and pleasurable. He translates the domestic and political conflict of 'Hamlet' to the modern South where he grew up. The resulting queer, Black, middle-class lens is inherently irreverent and a goof, but also liberating."
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The Washington Post
May 26th, 2022

"Unabashedly entertaining and one of a spate of enticing new plays that are destined to be seen on stages across the country, offering fresh hope to theaters and theatergoers who are willing the industry back to full health."
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New York Theatre Guide
May 26th, 2022

"The author also lends his own distinct point of view for his contemporary update. This slice of life leans hard into comedy, not tragedy, as it ponders big things that matter: personal identity, sexuality, transparency, living out loud."
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May 26th, 2022

"In Ijames's hands, Shakespeare's text about a brooding, fake-mad, mother-obsessed, father-avenging prince of Denmark becomes a play celebrating Blackness, specifically radical Black queer softness.'"
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