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The Humans Reviews

Broadway ShowsPlaysCritics Picks2016 Tony Winners

Average customer review: 2.5 star rating (2.7 Stars)

Number of reviews: 22



5.0 star rating Nojamin from Charlotte, North Carolina


I thoroughly enjoyed this play - the ensemble cast is stellar and truly depicts that all families are dysfunctional, but at the end of the day our love for one another overrides the dysfunction. Due to the seriousness of some of the content, I would not recommend for anyone under 16 years of age. There is a lot of humor though as well.

5.0 star rating T.Google from Cleveland, Ohio


I don’t understand the negative reviews written about this play. How can someone say they enjoyed the acting, the set, and everything else, yet leave a 1-Star review because the content was “too heavy” for them? The play is called The Humans for a reason: everyone in it is dealing with some very human problems that we can all relate to in one form or another. Whether you are an older adult with health problems, children, and money issues, or a post-grad with a career and student debt, or a young adult struggling to get your career going, or an individual with mental health issues. The material, portrays brilliantly by the cast, hits the mark it was aiming for, and really makes for good conversation after the show. I found it to be engaging, and effective in its relatability. Anyone who disliked the play for its realism should stick to comedies, or better yet read a synopsis every once in a while. Grading a play not based on its own merits is downright unfair, and petty.

5.0 star rating Camille from Cleveland, Ohio


The acting was great. The story was very relevant and needs to be heard. The conversation was interesting and ending was stimulating. Highly recommended.

5.0 star rating Jacob Jones from Chicago, Illinois


This was a wonderfully performed show. Acting was solid all the way around. The play is beautifully written, and it is relatable. You could connect with the characters, and it felt like real life. It was a solid day at the theater, and one of the better shows I have had the pleasure of seeing.

5.0 star rating Sean Lane from Seattle, Washington


There is a good reason why this stunning drama won the Tony Award for Best Play. It's a work of art. Subtle, deeply emotional and hilarious at the same time, it also asks an audience to think, something sorely lacking in drama today. Seattle is indeed a lucky city to be hosting the kick off for the national tour. It's a don't miss for any theatre goer who cares about humanity and the future of theatrical literature.

5.0 star rating from Seattle, Washington


Riveting material. The script included all areas of struggle and triumph no matter the generation, gender, or socio-economic status. It hit me with a full scale of emotions. The stage setting used every inch of a three dimensional platform - brilliant. Despite a large person in front of me, I don't think there is a bad seat in the house. The play makes for great conversation after.

5.0 star rating Amanda Aikman from Everett, Washington


I had read the script before seeing this magnificent play at the Rep. the production is absolutely impeccable — funny, bleak, complex, subtle — it was a thorough-going Broadway theatre experience. Thrilling. A great aesthetic experience. In response to your questions: I would not take very elderly people to this show, for thematic reasons.

4.0 star rating from Danville, California


Our family of 4, 2 adults and 2 teens, attended the show last night and I was pleasantly surprised to see Richard Thomas as one of the actors. It covered in snippets, financial struggles, dieting, sexual orientation, career or lack there of, religion, marriage, dementia, chronic illness, everything but politics, YAY!!! They covered all of this and did so in a humorous yet real way. I think much of what played out showed the complexity of American life and struggles often encountered along the way. A mix of turmoil and love. We all really enjoyed the show, even the teens!

3.0 star rating Samuel from Washington, DC


Had it not been proclaimed to be the best play of the year (2016), it would have been placed in the right category - that of a good quality drama with witty dialogue, liveliness (no prolonged "dull moments"), solid professional acting and resourceful stage design (a well-earned 4 stars). Alas, this play was over-rated and advertised as something out of this world, which is far from being the case. And that's the reason why I'm giving it 3 stars - I feel a little "deceived" by excessive trumpeting over a mainstream play, well, maybe slightly above the mainstream, if I wanted to be lenient. :)

2.0 star rating Janelle from San Francisco, California


The entire time I watched, I knew i was watching a play. No moment did it suck me in. I felt like i was watching snarky family banter with no direction. I don't think this displayed any talent of the writer. My view of the show was the best thing.

2.0 star rating Barb from Tempe, Arizona


“The Humans” could be a fine show. However, my husband and I have season tickets in the balcony, and for the first 20 minutes, as well as anytime the blocking took the cast away from the dinner table, we couldn’t see the cast from their shoulders up. It was impossible to engage with the story. It was difficult to catch the dialogue since Gamage’s sound system isn’t great. Perhaps we would have enjoyed the play and what is probably a great set (we couldn’t see half of it) if it had been in a smaller, more intimate theater, though with a two story set, that could be difficult. Our seats and sight lines haven’t been an issue for any of the other productions this season. There were so many empty seats in the balcony- it’s too bad that we couldn’t have all moved closer, but with no intermission, it wasn’t possible.

2.0 star rating J.D. Conley from Dallas, Texas


I guess I'm rube. This was a Pulitzer finalist? Why? The Humans portrays a typical middle class American family that gathers happily for a holiday meal and winds up sharing more of their separate problems than anyone wants to know. In other words: annoyingly realistic and boring. I don't need an expensive evening of theater to see that. Karam should have whittled this one act in half and written a second act in which something meaningful happens.

2.0 star rating Season Ticket Holder from Des Moines, Iowa


One of the worst plays I've ever seen - and I've seen Shakespeare performed entirely in Russian! I took my husband because he loves Richard Thomas, and I was delightfully surprised to see Pamela Reed was co-starring. (I'm surprised this combo wasn't publicized a bit more.) They were great; all the actors were strong. The set was intriguing. And there was the occasional strong humorous line, and the storyline is relatable. It's just the entirety of the content, man. Talk about a bag of downers! Alzheimers, alcoholism, loss of jobs, loss of love, aging, age-gap...oh, and death. But the kicker? The nail in the coffin? The last 10-15 minutes of the play is performed virtually in the dark! One lantern that allows acting via silhouette. And when the lights went black, no one clapped because we didn't know whether or not it was over. No wonder they held a talk session afterwards - people couldn't understand it! I would have given it 1 star, but the strong cast wouldn't let me.

1.0 star rating Elizabeth Horton from Los Angeles, California


Agree that it was a LONG one act that went nowhere. An intermission would have been a welcome relief from the sitcom subject, all it needed was a laugh track. I think the big noise was the ongoing construction of the parking garage because the only drama in the afternoon was trying to find our car. There were more interesting characters wandering around the 8 level horribly marked subterranean catacombs clicking their beepers with hopeless faces. The satisfying ending the play lacked was provided when, 45 minutes later, with sore feet and parched throats, we found the car.

1.0 star rating from Los Angeles, California


I do not know if the script called for multiple awkward silences between spoken words, talking over other actors lines, and that dreadful no message ending, but either it was the cast or poor direction, but it is beyond me how the Los Angeles play of the Humans I saw won a tony for anything. If I had been sitting on the aisle, I would hav walked out about 1/2 way in.

1.0 star rating Silver M. from Los Angeles, California


I don't understand what is funny about sitcom dialogue at more than $50/seat. Nor why the audience must react as if they are at home and constantly comment on the show. The noise reportedly from the seventy-something Chinese lady upstairs made no sense. And the change in tone while anticipated was overly stark and did not feel as if it fit with the rest of the show. Very disappointing show. I no longer trust the Tony Award as being a good enough reason to see a show. I would not recommend this show even though there really is not a bad seat in the house.

1.0 star rating Tim from Boston, Massachusetts


The Emperor has no clothes folks. Save your money and instead just spend a day with a friend visiting his dim witted family and relatives. You'll regret it but at least you'll be doing a nice deed instead of sitting through this dog and feeling like a fool for listening to the critics who seem to be enthralled in finding meaning in something with less substance than a piece of chewed gum.

1.0 star rating Anonymous season ticket holder from Minneapolis, Minnesota


The Humans was incredibly depressing and depicted a dysfunctional family having Thanksgiving dinner. The plot didn't really go anywhere except to highlight each character's flaws and current life problems. Spoiler- no happy ending and with little plot, really no ending at all. The grandma character with Alzheimer's was the hardest to watch; a couple times making a joke of her mental state. The father has a drinking problem as well. Very, very depressing and hard to watch if you've ever known or dealt with anyone with Alzheimer's or alcoholism. The cast and set was fine but the content itself was not worth the ticket price. I had to go home and watch something funny afterward to revive my spirit.

1.0 star rating Anne A from Chicago, Illinois


The New York production received such superlative reviews. I was looking forward to seeing it here in Chicago. The acting was fine and we had great seats. But there is no real story or character development. Just a lot of cliches and things that go nowhere. I am rarely so out of tune with the critics, but his was a big disappointment. I read tons of character driven fiction and know that it can be compelling. The Humans was not.

1.0 star rating Kathy Holliday from Grapevine, TX


Not very entertaining. Left Broadway theater feeling "down" after watching this sad depiction of a modern day family. If you're looking for an upbeat production, this is NOT the performance for you. Save your money. Actors are very good, but content is depressing. Certainly hope that this does not depict the average american family.

1.0 star rating Sylvia S from Seattle, Washington


I went to see The Humans expecting excellent Broadway, star quality drama. There was some fine acting, lots of well executed stage business, but no drama whatsoever. Utterly boring. My Thanksgiving dinner with my family was more exciting.

1.0 star rating Mark V from Seattle, Washington


During this holiday season, if you find yourself laughing and enjoying time with friends and family to the extent that you need a break, then by all means go see this bleak, dreary and pointlessly depressing play that rambles aimlessly through a Thanksgiving dinner with a remarkably dysfunctional family. There is no plot and no real ending. The stage just mercifully goes dark and your suffering ends. I have no idea why this play won any awards.


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What we thought

Intriguing insightful ENCOURAGING

Highlights the ongoing issues of depression, indulgence, aging and the distressing notion that America's next generation is flooded with debt before they even begin

As the family prepares for a Thanksgiving dinner, served on paper plates, we understand that family is everything. The family dynamics are well studied by playwright Stephen Karam in this intriguing and insightful production.

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Nicola Quinn

Nicola Quinn


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