Alley Theatre’s new production of “The Humans” is too funny and too real, but in good ways.
This Tony Award-winning play offers a look into the lives of the Blake family, but it feels like looking into a mirror. I could see my family in theirs. The dreams and secrets of each generation and family member are revealed one by one. Playwright Stephen Karam masterfully exploits generational differences for humor, and I could not stop laughing at the family’s jabs at each other.
The play is set in Brigid Blake and her boyfriend Richard Saad’s new two-story apartment. With the set design at the Alley Theatre, both the upstairs and downstairs of the apartment can be seen at once.
Throughout the show, the characters are doing different things and having different conversations both upstairs and down. Besides this literal multilayer to the production, each character also has two layers of with the image they want to show and the chaos that is actually occurring in their lives. The story is also dynamic with three generations, and three different stages of romantic relationships, the new bliss, on the rocks, and breakup.
The acting in this performance is incredibly realistic, I got lost in the story and almost forgot it wasn’t real. In particular, Steve Key as Erik Blake the father of the family and Elizabeth Bunch as his daughter Aimee Blake gave incredibly authentic and heart-wrenching performances.
A humorous and endearing part of the play is the potential son-in-law Richard Saad (Christopher Salazar) trying hard to be liked and relatable, but in the family feud, he gets to cast a peacekeeper.
“The Humans” is about each character’s relationship with fear as they look to the future. It’s irresistibly heartwarming because it takes a sincere and sympathetic look at hardship, heartbreak and the hands that we reach for when we fear the future.
Alley Theatre is performing “The Humans” over spring break and through March 24. With a valid student ID, tickets are $16 for non-prime performances and $26 for prime performances (Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday matinees). If purchasing online, use the promo code STUDENT.