It was a hit off-Broadway this fall, and now the family drama "The Humans" has opened on Broadway. NY1’s Roma Torre filed the following review.
The move to Broadway made them even more human. Stephen Karam’s exquisite family drama, so lovingly transferred to Broadway, is a flawless gem. Director Joe Mantello has deepened the play’s tragicomic elements, capturing the dynamics of a family you may not know but will surely recognize.
It is the same cast and pretty much the same play with some minor tweaks.
The beauty of the play is the way that Karam is able to say so much about the American Family through his very detailed portrait of just one family. The Blakes from Scranton are experiencing the anxieties of modern life that afflict all of us in one way or another. Money, jobs, health, religion – one character observes “Don’t you think it should cost less to be alive?”
Karam also has something to say about the elusive American dream. Only the dreams these folks have are haunting ones, and he adds a supernatural touch with unexplained noises and flickering lights as if to say it is all beyond our control.
Keep in mind there is really no story here - it is simply a moment in time. The family is celebrating Thanksgiving in the new Manhattan apartment of younger daughter Brigid and her boyfriend Rich. The parents Erik and Deirdre have driven from Scranton along with Erik’s mother, in the throes of dementia, and older daughter Aimee.
The cast is superb. As the sisters, Cassie Beck and Sarah Steele have that unspoken filial vibe down to perfection. Arian Moayed plays Rich with the confidence of a 38-year-old who has finally figured out life. Lauren Klein’s Momo is chillingly real; and Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell are masterful, delivering every line - the comic and the tragic - with stunning honesty.
Karam’s play is a mirror reflecting our absurd humanity. We laugh and we cry amid the worst challenges. But through it all, there’s family - for better or worse - to cushion the blow.