By CATHERINE HIGGINS-MOORE
On January 23, the glitzy musicals and tourist-attracting shows on Broadway will have to share a little of their spotlight with the little play that could. Stephen Karam's The Humans will transfer from the Laura Pels to the Helen Hayes Theater. Although the Helen Hayes Theater houses 597 and the Laura Pels seats 424, the cachet of moving to Broadway overshadows the reality that the theatres are not all that different in size.
Critics and audiences have slated Al Pacino in the new play by David Mamet, China Doll, and Keira Knightley received only moderate praise for her turn in Thérèse Raquin, but no doubt the cast and crew of The Humans hold much hope that this play, powerful in its apparent ordinariness, will attract audiences who haven’t come to the theatre hoping to take celebrity selfies after curtain at the stage door.
While Deadline Hollywood called the off-Broadway production “exciting theater” and The Hollywood Reporter decreed it “tremendously moving”, a number of publications, including New York Magazine, have gone so far as to pronounce it “the best play of the year”.