Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Humans
Curious Theatre Company: 11/3 – 12/22
                   L-R: Anastasia Davidson and Kevin Hart  (photo credit Michael Ensminger)

Not your usual holiday fare, Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play, THE HUMANS, plays out at a Thanksgiving dinner in an apartment in lower Manhattan.
     Kevin Hart leads a uniformly fine cast with an outstanding portrayal of Erik Blake, the patriarch of this dysfunctional clan. Hart, who dazzled Denver audiences with his outstanding portrayal of Willy Loman in The Edge Theater’s production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN earlier this season, proves once again what a powerful presence he is in dark, serious drama.
     As Erik’s wife, Deirdre, Annie F. Butler gives a nuanced portrayal of a woman suffering from wounds of disregard and neglect.  
     Anastasia Davidson portrays Erik and Deirdre’s daughter, Brigid. New to this reviewer, her engaging performance makes one hope to see her soon again upon the Denver stage.
     Susannah McLeod portrays the couple’s other daughter, Aimee, whose sparkling personality and bright smile veil a year filled with tragedy.
     Antonio Amadeo, who was nominated for a Henry Award for his performance in A KID LIKE JAKE at Benchmark Theatre and gave a breathtaking performance as Biff in The Edge Theater’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN, is Richard Saad, Brigid’s acquiescing boyfriend.
     Delivering a heart-breaking portrayal of a woman suffering from dementia, Kathryn Grey is brilliant as Momo.
     Dee Covington delivers her directorial concept with a stealth-like pacing.
     Charles Dean Packard’s excellent lighting design creates the perfect eerie, mysterious mood. 
     Markas Henry’s superb two-level set, complete with spiral staircase and intentionally dilapidated furnishings, is one of the best scenic designs so far this season.
     Jason Ducat provides such an intentionally nerve-jangling sound design that the sonic effects so integral to the piece, almost become another character.
      This is provocative theatre that’s not for the theatregoer looking for a night of light, fluffy entertainment.
     Disturbing, and at times uncomfortable, THE HUMANS will reward those seeking an evening of theatre as Art.

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