Based on Tony Award nominee and multi-platinum recording artist Sam Harris’s critically acclaimed book, Ham: Slices of a Life, this is an original stage production in which Harris himself plays twelve different characters and shares the stage with only his accompanist Todd Schroeder.
The stage version was developed and directed by Tony and Emmy-Award winning actor — and Pittsburgh native — Billy Porter, who said “When Sam asked me to help him develop his critically acclaimed memoir Ham: Slices of a Life into a musical theater piece, I jumped at the chance to work with my friend of 25 years. Sam is a tsunami of talent and the work we did in New York resulted in a production that showcased all of Sam’s extraordinary talents — as a writer, songwriter, actor, and of course, that voice! It got phenomenal reviews and went on to play Los Angeles in an award-winning production directed by Ken Sawyer. The film reveals Sam Harris as one of the great showmen of our time, who can have you in hysterics one moment and break your heart the next. Ham is more than Sam’s personal story — its message is universal. It is hilarious, it is raw, it is inspirational and above all, it is human.”
Sure, I watched Star Search when I was a kid, but I had no idea of the real story behind one of its most famous stars, Sam Harris. This film follows him from his childhood in Oklahoma’s Bible Belt, searching for belonging in Jewish and black communities before discovering who he really is. He becomes famous, but even that doesn’t feel like enough. He has a hole inside him that nothing — not even show business — can fill. So what happens next?
I came away loving Harris and really enjoying his story. I imagine that you will do the exact same.
Ham is currently playing — through December 17 –virtually at the Laemmle Theater. It will then be playing digital on demand starting January 7.