The Hot Wing King
Written byKatori Hall
Date premieredFebruary 11, 2020 (2020-02-11)
Place premieredManhattan, New York, New York
SubjectBlack masculinity, family, relationships
SettingMemphis, Tennessee

The Hot Wing King is a 2020 comedy-drama play by American writer Katori Hall. The play follows Cordell, his boyfriend, and their friends in Memphis, Tennessee preparing their culinary entry for the annual "Hot Wang Festival". The Hot Wing King premiered off-Broadway at Signature Theatre on February 11, 2020 and had a limited run due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hall received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Hot Wing King.


"Ready, set, fry! It's time for the annual "Hot Wang Festival" in Memphis, Tennessee, and Cordell Crutchfield knows he has the wings that’ll make him king. Supported by his beau Dwayne and their culinary clique, The New Wing Order, Cordell is marinating and firing up his frying pan in a bid to reclaim the crispy crown."[1]




The play was directed by Steve H. Broadnax III and written by Katori Hall.[3] She was inspired to write a play that centered Black gay men because she wanted to create a story that reflected her brother's life experiences.[4] The Hot Wing King premiered on February 11, 2020 off-Broadway at Pershing Square Signature Center in Manhattan.[5] The show's run ended prematurely due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[6]


The Hot Wing King received mixed reception. In a review for the New York Times, Ben Brantley praised "the matter-of-fact depiction of Black gay characters who may be dissatisfied, to varying degrees, with their own behavior but not, ultimately, because of their sexuality" but further stated "the balance between social soap opera and buoyant comedy isn't always gracefully sustained."[3] Similarly, Marilyn Stasio of Variety called the plot "meandering" and referred positively to "the extremely likable characters."[2] Robert Hofler of TheWrap called The Hot Wing King "a raucous comedy" that was also "lopsided."[7]

Hall received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Hot Wing King.[8] The citation described the play as "a funny, deeply felt consideration of Black masculinity and how it is perceived, filtered through the experiences of a loving gay couple and their extended family as they prepare for a culinary competition."[9]

See also


  1. ^ "The Hot Wing King by Katori Hall at Signature Theatre in NYC". Signature Theatre. 2020-08-12. Archived from the original on 2020-08-12. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  2. ^ a b Stasio, Marilyn (2020-03-02). "'The Hot Wing King': Theater Review". Variety. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Jacobs, Julia (June 11, 2021). "Katori Hall Wins Drama Pulitzer for 'The Hot Wing King'". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  4. ^ Soloski, Alexis (2021-07-05). "Pulitzer winner Katori Hall: 'I think of theatre as a church. It's a sanctuary'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Brantley, Ben (2020-03-02). "Review: In 'The Hot Wing King,' a New Recipe for a Family". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  6. ^ "Memphis native Katori Hall wins 2021 Pulitzer Prize for drama for "The Hot Wing King"". 2021-06-11. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Hofler, Robert (2020-03-02). "'The Hot Wing King' Theater Review: Katori Hall Blends Sticky Schmaltz With Spicy Sauce". TheWrap. Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Evans, Greg (June 11, 2021). "Katori Hall's ;The Hot Wing King' Wins 2021 Pulitzer Prize For Drama". Deadline. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  9. ^ "The Hot Wing King, by Katori Hall". Retrieved 2021-09-06.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)