Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away, but we get to celebrate a bit early with The Humans in Stephen Karam’s play at The Roundabout Theater. Every family has its skeletons, but this play makes you glad that the Blake family’s are not your’s. The Humans is a mystery, but not in the traditional sense. Tension builds like a coiled spring throughout the 90 minutes. You feel claustrophobic, jump at sounds and get nervous just watching the actors.
Bridgid, a 26-year old struggling composer has just moved in with her 38-year old boyfriend Richard, who is still a student. Age is not their only difference. Bridgid comes from a working class background and was raised in Scranton, while Richard comes from money. Thanksgiving is being celebrated at their new basement apartment in Chinatown – and Bridgid’s family arrives with secrets simmering at the surface just waiting to be unleashed.
Luckily Karam makes you laugh or you wouldn’t be able to breathe. The acting is nuanced and the actors get their points across through expression and body language. But unfortunately, the set design is flawed. Much of the story takes place upstairs in a duplex apartment and the views were obstructed from where I sat in the left orchestra. But overall kudos to the director and cast for bringing us this naturalistic play that makes you long to go to your own home for the holidays. LAR
Laura Pels Theater, 111 W. 46th Street
Ticket prices: $99
Runs thru: 1/3/16
Running time: 90 minutes