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Fat Ham

1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, 92101

James Ijames’ take on Shakespeare asks and answers the question, “What if Hamlet was set in a version of the American south that was ‘a kind of liminal space between the past and the present with an aspirational relationship to the future that is contingent to your history living in the South’ and was also neither tragedy nor comedy, but just kind of funny and fierce and fabulous?” There’s a reason it opens with a dude watching porn on his phone, sans earbuds, in his friend’s backyard, and it has a lot to do with that same dude’s big speech later on about the time he had a drug-induced vision of getting a blowjob from the virtual-reality gingerbread man at which he had just been throwing snowballs and it was just wonderful with frosting shooting everywhere and hey, what if we chose pleasure instead of harm? As it happens, beautiful black soul Juicy’s uncle the preacher chose both, which is what led him to have Juicy’s dad the barbecue master killed while said barbecue master was in prison for murdering a customer, just so he could marry Juicy’s juicy Mama… But that’s the offstage violence; the onstage stuff is a little more subtle, and has to do with a Churchgoing Christian mother’s plans for her son to man up and join the Marines and her daughter to put on a pretty dress and find a husband, when both have…other inclinations. Ijames is a smart and talented writer: there are scads of laughs throughout, some of them likely to have patrons looking around and wondering if it’s exactly okay to be chortling. There are oodles of clever callbacks to the original — the play-within-a-play rendered as a game of charades is great stuff, and the soliloquies are solid. And there are moments of genuinely moving drama: Juicy’s karaoke performance of Radiohead’s “Creep” is the stuff awards are made of, at least when performed by Sola Fadiran. But what there isn’t is dramatic resolution, either in the “Son, obey your father’s ghost and kill your uncle” department, or in the “throw of the shackles of culture, history, and religion, and get your virtual reality gingerbread freak on” department. The result is that the show feels more like an extended riff, or a clever exercise in affirmation, than a play.

When

Ongoing until Sunday, June 23, 2024

Hours

Sundays, 2pm
Thursdays, 7:30pm
Fridays, 7:30pm
Saturdays, 7:30pm
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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