Stephen Karam’s Tony Award winning one-act play, “The Humans,” is given a powerful, emotional presentation by the Wilbury Theatre Group at their Waterplace Center space under the brilliant direction of Josh Short.
The Blake family has driven from Scranton to New York City’s Chinatown to celebrate Thanksgiving with daughter Brigid (Jessie March) and her significant other, Richard (Dave Rabinow).
Grandmother “Momo” (Carol Varden) has Alzheimer’s, and older daughter Aimee (Rachel Dulude) is dealing with ulcerative colitis.
Short has enlisted Actor’s Equity members Jim O’Brien and Jeanine Kane to play the parents, Erik and Deidre Blake, two veteran actors who have played together in several local productions and have a profound connection that creates a believable bond between them.
Monica Shinn has designed a two-tier set that depicts the rundown duplex and provides for a couple of scenes that may rattle you. In one, the man next to me literally jumped off his seat.
After the usual greetings and catching up, past incidents, fears, differences and problems creep to the forefront.
The children’s philosophies, lifestyles and attitudes have drifted from their upbringing.
Hidden resentments come to the surface.
Late in the evening Erik reveals a secret that disrupts everything.
“Humans” deals with situations that occur in many human relationships. Religion, rejection, disappointments, misunderstandings and lies occur in most families – especially this one. Some are made light of, some are passed off as funny stories and others hurt deeply and affect our lives.
“Humans” deals with all of the above.
Handled by amateurs, it could be disastrous, but these six actors come together as an ensemble – a family -- in perfect synchrony to make you care for them in spite of all their flaws.
“The Humans” is a play for our times. See it.
At Wilbury through Dec. 11. Check thewilburygroup.org for tickets.
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