The Humans BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • VULTURE

  • DEADLINE

  • NBC

Opening Night:
February 18, 2016
Closing:
January 15, 2017

Theater: Schoenfeld Theatre / 236 West 45th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex, eerie things start to go bump in the night. Soon, family tensions reach a boiling point… and the hilarity, heart and horrors of the Blake clan are exposed.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Humans

    ‘The Humans’ Depicts a Family, and a Country, Under Pressure

    Charles Isherwood

    February 18, 2016: “Doing life twice sounds like the only thing worse than doing it once,” says the beleaguered paterfamilias of “The Humans,” Stephen Karam’s piercingly funny, bruisingly sad comedy-drama about an American family teetering on the edge of the abyss. The title may sound generic, but there’s nothing blurry about Mr. Karam’s scorching drama, which opened on Broadway on Thursday at the Helen Hayes Theater. Drawn in subtle but indelible strokes, Mr. Karam’s play might almost qualify as deep-delving reportage, so clearly does it illuminate the current, tremor-ridden landscape of contemporary America. The finest new play of the Broadway season so far — by a long shot — Mr. Karam’s drama has been beautifully transferred from Off Broadway, where it was presented by the Roundabout Theater Company last fall, with the production’s prized virtues intact: a peerless cast, whose members all inhabit their characters as if they’ve been living in their itchy skins forever; direction from Joe Mantello that stealthily navigates the play’s delicate shifts, from witty domestic comedy to painful conflict, and from there to something resembling a goose-pimply chiller; and a set, designed by David Zinn, that perfectly captures the unsettled atmosphere the writing so deftly establishes.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Humans

    The Humans: Theater review

    Adam Feldman

    February 18, 2016: “Dontcha think it should cost less to be alive?” muses Erik (Reed Birney) to Richard (Arian Moayed) as they ready themselves for Thanksgiving dinner. He’s complaining about his expenses, but in Stephen Karam’s beautifully wrought "The Humans," even the small talk has larger echoes. Erik and his wife, Deirdre (Jayne Houdyshell, lovably stubborn), are a working-class couple in their early sixties; money is growing scarce, but the Blake family’s troubles hardly end there. Erik’s mother, Momo (Lauren Klein), is lost in the terminal stages of dementia, and his daughter, Aimee (Cassie Beck), is reeling from a year of deep medical, professional and romantic trauma. The costs of living pile up everywhere.

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  • VULTURE REVIEW OF The Humans

    Theater Reviews: The Humans and Old Hats, Polar Opposites of Excellence

    Jesse Green

    February 18, 2016: The entire action of Stephen Karam’s play "The Humans" takes place in the Chinatown apartment that 26-year-old Brigid Blake has just moved into with her boyfriend, Richard Saad. It’s a duplex, but that doesn’t mean it’s luxurious: The window on the upper level looks out on the bottom of an air shaft littered with cigarette butts; the lower, windowless level backs up on the building’s compactor and laundry rooms. Brigid’s parents, who have driven from tumbledown Scranton for Thanksgiving, are quietly horrified; Deirdre, Brigid’s mother, is impressed only by the size of the cockroaches while Erik, her father, has dark visions of break-ins, collapses, and floods. (Coming from Philadelphia, Brigid’s sister Aimee is not nearly as freaked out, and “Momo,” Erik’s mother, is too lost in dementia to notice.) Would The Humans be so effective if its 95 minutes of 100-proof family drama took place in a neat little doorman condo? I doubt it: Location is destiny. With its irrational layout and strange, sickening noises, the apartment, as the stage directions put it, is “effortlessly uncanny,” as is the play itself.

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF The Humans

    Superb ‘The Humans’, About The Way We Live Today, Opens On Broadway

    Jeremy Gerard

    February 18, 2016: After a justly celebrated off-Broadway run, Stephen Karam‘s knockout drama "The Humans" has moved to Broadway, courtesy of everywhere-these-days producer Scott Rudin. A smart decision was made to hold on to the exquisitely matched acting ensemble and also the play’s, well, human scale by re-mounting it in the Helen Hayes, the smallest Tony-eligible house. As a result, the play retains its remarkable power as a tale of sorrows veined with silver threads of humor — a kind of requiem for life in New York in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Sandy that makes a Big Statement by making no statement at all.

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  • NBC NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Humans

    Stephen Karam Makes His Move to Broadway with "The Humans"

    Robert Kahn

    February 18, 2016: Our calendars are teasing spring, but it's still Thanksgiving in the Chinatown duplex Brigid Blake shares with boyfriend Richard in “The Humans,” Stephen Karam’s eloquent and wholly relatable modern family drama. “The Humans” made such a ruckus Off-Broadway last fall that it caught the attention of producer Scott Rudin, who blessedly seized the whole thing—cast, director Joe Mantello, ramshackle set and all—and bumped it across town to Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, where it’s just opened. Time has made the members of the Blake family seem more vulnerable, and at the same time brought to each a heightened awareness of what’s meaningful in their lives.

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