The Humans

Reindeer Cave Painting

While not exactly a cave, the duplex of Brigid Blake and her boyfriend Rich fits the bill. It’s a ground floor/basement up-and-down, with one barred window that looks out on a cigarette littered alley. Still, it has an amazing amount of space for Manhattan. The fact that this Chinatown abode is in the flood zone only enhances its affordability. As an aside, its layout reminded us of Dan’s place.

That’s the place, the time is Thanksgiving. Once an occasion to appreciate God’s gifts, the holiday is presented here as a primordial feast. The foldout table is set, all that is lacking now is a human sacrifice, which will come soon enough. The Blake clan, all four of them (mother, father, sister and grandmother), descend upon NYC, à la the movie Pieces of April, which handles holiday melancholy with more warmth and tenderness than does this play. Rich and Brigid’s place is empty. Their belongings are still on a truck in Queens. That’s OK, the visiting Blakes unpack enough emotional baggage to fill the stage.

The Humans is funny, emotional, but also draining. By play’s end, I’d gladly cross the Blakes off from any dinner party invites. Unfortunately, even before the lights go out, the playwright had already written them off too. The Blakes are bankrupt, both emotionally and financially. It doesn’t help that boyfriend Rich is rich, a trust fund baby. Family dynamic soon devolve into a caricature of class warfare, as the 99% are eventually Ubered back to Scranton, PA. 

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