Fat Ham @ Seattle Rep

Gut him like a pig 🐽

📸: Seattle Rep

📆 Friday, April 12th – Sunday, May 12th
🎟 Tickets start at $20
📍 Seattle Rep: 155 Mercer St, Seattle

Juicy is a young Black man in his early 20s, “pensive, thicc, and gay.” He’s studying human resources at the online-only University of Phoenix. Everybody describes him as “soft.” But that doesn’t bother him—he has more on his mind. His father, Pap, was just shanked while serving a prison sentence. And not a moment too soon, Uncle Rev has moved in on Juicy’s widowed mom and hopes to inherit the family restaurant, and today is the wedding reception. If that isn’t enough, Juicy is being haunted by Pap’s ghost. Avenge me, Pap demands, kill the man who ordered my murder. Gut him like a pig.

Yep, it’s Hamlet set at a backyard family barbecue in the American South, whittled down to one act (none of that Fortinbras nonsense), full of laughs, soliloquies, karaoke, and two pigs cooking in the smoker. Seattle Rep is in the business of updating classic texts, with Teenage Dick and Quixote Nuevo among their most recent examples. Their latest comes with a whole lot of accolates: the play won playwright James Ijames the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama then later premiered on Broadway, where it received five Tony nominations (losing Best Play to Tom Stoppard’s extremely topical but far less funny Leopoldstadt).

It’s a dynamite piece of writing, and it’s only going to get better with local director Timothy McCuen Piggee at the helm of this regional production, whose cast includes Reginald André Jackson (History of Theatre: About, By, For, and Near) and Dedra D. Woods (The Last Drive to Dodge) in the Claudius/Gertrude roles and Taj E.M. Burroughs making his Seattle debut in the lead role.

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Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.