XU | Broadway’s Fat Ham is a Twist on Shakespeare, But it’s Also Much More

There is only one thing that makes me wish I wasn’t studying abroad this semester — Fat Ham, a comedy written by James Ijames, is on Broadway and I really want to go see it. The play ran from May to July last year at the Public Theater in New York, after premiering as a streaming production (thanks, pandemic) at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater and winning the Pulitzer Prize in drama. Fat Ham, a comedic reinterpretation loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, caught my eye for two reasons: I had just finished writing a paper on a modern-day Shakespeare adaptation, and Colman Domingo (who plays Ali in Euphoria) is co-producing the play. He posted about it on Instagram — and yes, I follow Domingo on Instagram. Memorable adaptations of Shakespeare are few and far between.

The Thirteen-Reasons-Why-Ification of ‘Euphoria’

I certainly believe that television should be challenging and make us think, but I also believe that the primary purposes of television should be entertainment and amusement. When a show decides to be too challenging, like ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’, it often has to sacrifice amusement. “Euphoria” knew how to walk the line perfectly, and Season One proves that.