REVIEW: THE HUMANS at Curious Theatre

by Edwin Lobach

OK. First off, I don’t necessarily like to employ superlatives, but, this was the best play I’ve ever seen.
When visiting family and friends for Thanksgiving, love is expressed through banter and fighting,
observance and memories. Some might think of turkey, the parade, the men in tights throwing and
handling oblong balls about, but don’t forget about the news we haven’t broken to family, the
vulnerability we become around them, and, in most cases, forgiveness and the plain ol’ giving thanks for
what we yet have. All said, though, it’s how we relate and reflect in Stephen Karam’s The Humans about
a tri-generational family Thanksgiving.

Have you ever been so enthralled by something that you found yourself holding your breath? Because,
yes, The Humans left me breathless more than a few times. Even as I walked in, the set done by Markas
Henry, Sarah Talaba, and You Want What Productions took my breath away, prodding me with pangs of
nostalgia which I couldn’t shake for the entirety of the show. Everyone has been in Richard and Brigid’s
apartment, with the basic white walls pocked sporadically with outlets and deadbolted doors; the old
countertops, an off-white fridge, and painted-over cabinets in the kitchen; an old radiator by the barred,
opaque window—it’s in combination of all the apartments we’ve ever just barely afforded to live in.
Albeit, at first I thought the two daughters of the show, Brigid and Aimee Blake (Anastasia Davidson,
Susannah McLeod), were rather overacting around their parents, but as the story progressed I realized,
don’t we all put on a bit of a show for our family when we haven’t seen them in a while? I noticed it
especially from the way the sisters interacted with each other, as if they were closer as family members.

But there were so many of these intricacies that it needs to be said, director Dee Covington and
managers A. Phoebe Sacks and Kenzie Kilroy killed it. During the actual dinner, Richard (Antonio
Amadeo) remained awkwardly quiet, and you could feel his discomfort through his timid body language
and even his position on stage, and meanwhile, the mom (Anne F. Butler), was rubbing her arthritic
hands and cyclically rocking side to side. Just…so much was happening.

I can go on and on and on, like how Erik (Kevin Hart) was my favorite character, or how Momo (Kathryn
Gray) brought me joy, discomfort, and tears, or about all the sounds that the apartment made (done by
Jason Ducat and Ashley Campbell), but I just need you to go see it. I brought a friend and he echoed my
response: it hit so close to home. The Humans will get ya right in the heart, right down to the feels, just
in time for family holidays, and it’s at one of the favorite local theatres in Cap Hill, Curious Theatre.

The Humans is living up to expectations now until December 22 nd . You can find tickets or other
information by visiting curioustheatre.com or calling 303-623-0524.

 

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