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  The Humans at Cadillac Palace Theatre

The Humans

Cadillac Palace Theatre
151 W. Randolph Chicago

Stephen Karam's The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter's apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan's deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play.

Thru - Feb 11, 2018

Price: $25-$98

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

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  The Humans Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...I first was knocked out by "The Humans," which tells the story of a struggling but loving lower-middle-class family sharing Thanksgiving together, trying to hold it together, to move past their mistakes, hoping against hope that nothing gets worse, in 2014 at the small American Theater Company, just off Lincoln Avenue, right by a Trader Joe's, on Chicago's North Side. The gorgeous production - which I never will forget - was staged by PJ Paparelli, who was to die in an auto accident barely six months later. I considered Paparelli an artistic genius, and it's hard to watch this play without thinking about him."
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Chris Jones

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...The drama unfolds in real time over Thanksgiving dinner hosted by 20-something Brigid Blake (Daisy Eagan), a composer who supports herself tending bar, and her 38-year-old boyfriend Richard (Luis Vega) at their new duplex in New York City's Chinatown. Sparsely furnished (the moving truck has been delayed) and slightly dingy (paint cans stacked in the corner suggest an imminent freshen-up), the place is affordable because it flooded during Hurricane Sandy. And the neighborhood is less than ideal."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...The Humans has had several stagings, culminating in a Broadway run. Oh, and American political culture went completely mad. Directed by Joe Mantello, this Equity touring production is brittle in comparison to the original, Richard Thomas's Erik is more querulous. Most important, the apartment setting is more ominous: Its iffy wiring, gurgling pipes, and stomping upstairs neighbors now assume the aspect of a monster ready to chew up and spit out those inside. Here's a Humans for the moment."
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Tony Adler

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...“The Humans,” which had its world premiere at Chicago’s American Theater Company three seasons ago, has garnered a slew of high-profile awards, including the 2016 Tony for Best Play. It is made of potent stuff."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Recommended

"...“The Humans” is one of those rare and fascinating plays that you get a chance to witness how the diversity of our cultures will alter the viewpoint of how we interpret the struggles of life. How we can see each situation and determine how it should translate the same for all but when we recently saw the play it dramatically reminded us again how vastly different we see things culturally."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Director Joe Mantello does a masterful job with the characters and the staging of this Turkey-Day. Again, it is the sound that doesn’t reach out to the huge Cadillac Palace that hurts the production. For your edification, the furniture is on the moving van, so they are doing makeshift with folding chairs and tables so they can host this special holiday dinner. Listen carefully to each character as they let their own fears and anxieties “out of the bag”. I never give away some of the surprises that a playwright expresses, but will give you this hint. This could easily be someone you know, or maybe even your family!"
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...It’s multilayered and mesmerizing in its honesty and heartfelt earnestness. Every actor is superb. Each moment is both familiar and unique. The playwright says there are six basic fears: poverty, criticism, ill health, the loss of love, old age and death. In his prize-winning play, now in a breathtaking, heartfelt production at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, audiences will experience all of these firsthand. This is, especially in today’s world, what it means to be human."
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Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh - Somewhat Recommended

"...Karam’s play is excellent. I can’t recommend viewing it from dress circle right in the Cadillac Palace…maybe main floor center but choose a row closer to the stage. This isn’t a big flashy musical that overcomes the distance. It’s a powerful story with subtle nuisances and underlying humor best experienced up close and personal at the Cadillac or in a smaller theatre."
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Katy Walsh

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...Watching The Humans is very much like watching a character-driven independent film (though please, don’t adapt this play for the screen, that never goes well), where circumstances and setting are secondary to the lives we peek in on for a moment in time. As dinner wraps up, our time as a fly on the wall at this particular family affair, in all its affection and dysfunction, also comes to an end. Which, like any great movie (or play), when the credits roll on such an experience, is a bummer."
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Lisa Trifone

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...Erik is ultimately left alone in the dark to contemplate his nightmares and the problems of his life, but what we have seen is 90 minutes (no intermission) of life as it is: the human condition. There is hope, there is disappointment, there is laughter, there is strife; The Humans is, in its essence, a play about how we live our lives, and Karam's script illustrates it with both joyous and stark realism. Life is never a picnic, or even a Thanksgiving feast. It is always a travail to be human, and rarely has a play captured the human struggle better."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...The Humans is a slice of life kind of play, providing the audience with a window into a Thanksgiving dinner for this family in real time. Part of the brilliance of Karam’s script is the realism and relatability – most can see themselves in at least one of the characters on stage, whether it is a father who is concerned for the well-being of his daughters, a mother’s attempts to ease the comfort of a mother-in-law battling a deeply challenging time, or a daughter trying to impress her parents with what little she has."
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Lauren Katz

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