After a successful sold-out, twice-extended run at The Vineyard Theatre, Nicky Silver is making his playwrighting Broadway debut with "The Lyons." This gem of a play is a laugh out loud experience. Nicky is a brilliant playwright because he has written a dark comedy that actually deals with many emotional topics: family relations, death, illness, homosexuality, sobriety, and loneliness.
"The Lyons" tells the story of "Rita Lyons," the indomitable matriarch of a dysfunctional family at a major crossroads. Her husband is dying, her son is in a dubious relationship, her daughter is barely holding it together. And worst of all, Rita can't figure out how to redesign her living room!
Helping bring this show to life is a cast of extraordinary performers: Tony and Golden Globe Award winner Linda Lavin, as "Rita Lyons," Tony Award winner Dick Latessa as "Ben Lyons," Michael Esper as "Curtis Lyons," Kate Jennings Grant as "Lisa Lyons," Brenda Pressley as "A Nurse," and Gregory Wooddell as "Brian."
The whole cast deserves a standing ovation, even though Linda Lavin definitely leads the cast with her exquisite acting skills, especially her facial expressions, which perfectly captures her thoughts. Linda really connects to the material, making "Rita" fully come to life! (on a personal note, it was quite amazing to watch Linda last night belt out all the great songs from her debut CD "Possibilities" and then to see her tonight as "Rita Lyons." It's no wonder Linda received a Tony nomination for this role). Dick Latessa is well cast as "Ben Lyons," helping make the show very enjoyable. Michael Esper and Kate Jennings Grant are great as "Curtis and Lisa Lyons." Their performances are strong and emotional, making me feel as though they were real life siblings. Brenda brings a lot of heart as the "Nurse" to her scenes, especially in the second act, while Gregory did a wonderful job letting the audience in on many revelations about "The Lyons."
"The Lyons" is such a strong show, the time just flew by. Another reason Nicky and this cast should be applauded is because "The Lyons" allowed me laugh at difficult topics and really connect with each character. If you are looking for a moving show that will also lift your spirits, I would highly suggest spending time with "The Lyons" at the Cort Theatre in NYC (138 West 48th Street, between 6th & 7th Avenue). Click here for tickets!