Hi everyone! No you didn’t read that wrong, I’m reviewing a play today! I recently saw The Humans and wanted to review it for you.
The Humans was the 2016 Tony Awards Best Play and it was a part of my subscription for Broadway in Chicago.
I have to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing it. I do enjoy plays, just not as much as musicals and to be honest I was considering skipping it. I just had so much to get done. But I’d already paid for it and so I decided to go.
The play centers around a family. Brigid is one of the sisters and recently moved out with her older boyfriend, Richard. They have moved from Scranton, Pennsylvania (I kept thinking of The Office) to New York City. Her parents, Erik and Dierdre, along with Brigid’s sister, Aimee, and Erik’s mother, Momo, have driven in to visit for Thanksgiving dinner.
Without realizing it, the members of the family all feel alone in their problems although they all clearly want to be there for each other. Brigid is a struggling musician who is bartending at two bars in between jobs. Erik and Dierdre are worn out caring for Momo, while trying to balance financing for that and their dream of a lake house for the family. Each of them, along with Aimee have health problems (physical and mental) and Aimee is dealing with a difficult breakup with her ex-girlfriend.
Through the course of the play we see how each member of the family is disappointed at the rest due to an ill-perceived notion that they’re not supportive and a real notion of a lack of understanding.
I really enjoyed how real the characters were and how amazing the acting was. Brigid was played by Daisy Eagan and I was so surprised and excited when I read her name on the playbill. She won a Tony Award when she was Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. Dierdre was played by Pamela Reed who was actually Leslie Knope’s mom in Parks and Recreation so I was super surprised when I realized that while reading the playbill yesterday. I really enjoyed both the character of Aimee and the acting of Therese Plaehn.
Overall I felt the play did go a bit long. It was an hour and a half long without an intermission. I did see a few people leaving the theatre throughout the performance which was saddening. One was an older woman who left maybe half way through and the others were a couple who were seated next to me who left maybe two thirds of the way through. It was strange as when they left I was the only person left in my row and I could have sworn there were more people there so perhaps I just hadn’t noticed them leaving or I’m making it up.
The theatre was pretty empty actually. I was in the lower balcony and there had been an offer to move to orchestra for free to subscribers so I imagine that level was pretty empty too due to people who decided not to go. (I missed that as I didn’t see the email in time and then forgot to call in later to see if there were still upgrades available.) I’m hoping it’s mostly due to the snow we were supposed to get all day rather than people who just didn’t want to go to a play but somehow I think that might have had something to do with it.
While I wouldn’t say I would go out of my way to see this play I did find it enjoyable and I would consider a play in the future. However my preference is musicals and I can’t wait to see another!
Let me know what you think of plays and if you’ve seen this one. I’d love to know!
Thanks for reading!
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