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‘Fat Ham’ coming to Philly in November

The Pulitzer-winning comedy by James Ijames will run at the Wilma Theater from November 24 through December 17.

Jennifer Kidwell, Kimberly S. Fairbanks, and Brennen S. Malone in Fat Ham with The Wilma Theater.
Jennifer Kidwell, Kimberly S. Fairbanks, and Brennen S. Malone in Fat Ham with The Wilma Theater.Read moreThe Wilma Theater

Fat Ham, the Pulitzer-winning play by James Ijames, originated in Philly but has never been performed in front of a live Philadelphia audience. That will change when the show comes to the Wilma Theater this year.

Currently running at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre, the comedy first premiered in 2021 as a filmed production from Center City’s Wilma, where Ijames was a co-artistic director. The Wilma announced Friday that the playwright will be stepping down from this role this year.

Fat Ham, directed by Amina Robinson, will run at the Wilma on Nov. 24 through Dec. 7.

The original filmed play, directed by Wilma’s co-artistic director Morgan Green, won the Pulitzer Prize before it was performed onstage for a live audience in New York. It’s a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set at a Southern cookout with Juicy, a Black queer man, as the star who struggles with his father’s death and his mother’s new marriage to his uncle.

Fat Ham played a sold-out run at New York’s Public Theater, which then transferred the play to Broadway in a coproduction with the National Black Theatre this year. The Wilma joined as a coproducer of the Broadway show in March. It opened this week and will run through June.

The play has received an overwhelmingly positive reception on Broadway. Lin-Manuel Miranda attended a preview and raved about it on Instagram: “A 95 minute JOY BOMB. Bravo, [James Ijames]. Bravo to the INCREDIBLE company of @fathambway. Walking on air!”

With its return to the Wilma, Philadelphians will finally get to see the show in person.

The Wilma has early bird subscriptions on sale now for tickets to its entire four-play season, ranging in price from $99 to $145. The ticket prices are expected to increase June 1.