Ham: A Musical Memoir – Review

Ham: A Musical Memoir

In 1983, Sam Harris was the winner of the biggest talent show in the world – Star Search. Long before talent shows became a franchise, Harris was the biggest star and travelled the world, most famously singing his rendition of Somewhere over The Rainbow.

However, the seemingly sudden and meteoric rise to fame for Harris didn’t come out of nowhere. Sam Harris must have come out of the womb singing and dancing as it was surely in his blood. Years later and after a long and celebrated musical theatre career, Harris wrote his autobiography entitled Ham: Slices of Life which told readers all about his life long before Star Search and long after.

Not content with stopping there though, Harris and his musical partner, Todd Shroeder decided that the next best way to tell Sam’s story was on the stage. Ham: A Musical Memoir is the story of Sam Harris’ life told by Harris himself in the only way that he can.

Directed by Andrew Putshoegl, Ham: A Musical Memoir is the off Broadway show where Sam Harris and his accompanying pianist tell the audience all about Harris’ humble beginnings in the Midwest and how despite his outgoing personality, he never felt like he fitted in.

Harris’ story may be a familiar one to all those who have either been through growing up gay or different in any other way, but his story may resonate with many different people and could even inspire people, giving them hope that one day things could get better.

Harris’ stage presence, warmth and wicked sense of humour are what drive the show. Paired with some very catchy original songs, Harris seems like a seasoned veteran of his craft. He knows who he is, what he does and how it may come across to other people and he just doesn’t seem to care.

Following his story with songs, impressions of characters from his life and career and Ham: A Musical Memoir is great fun for those who have known him since Star Search and for fans who love musical theatre. Harris’ show makes the audience grin from ear to ear.

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