We recently had the opportunity to see The Lyons at the Cort theatre. Nicky Silver’s dark comedy centers around the Lyons, a New York family in crisis. Linda Lavin (of Alice fame) plays the matriarch, Rita Lyon. I wanted to see the show particularly because I had heard she was so good. And she didn’t disappoint. Both she and actor Dick Latessa, playing her husband were hysterical. The secondary characters, the couple’s daughter and son, played by Kate Jennings Grant and Michael Esper respectively, were less interesting to watch, although I suspect this was due more to the uneven nature of the play than the actors themselves.
While I found the first act delightful, in a deliciously dark comedic sort of way, the second
act seemed to have come from an entirely different play. There was a sadistic twist that left me feeling uncomfortable and truly didn’t seem to fit in the play at all. But by the end, when Ms. Lavin was back on stage, we had circled back to the biting humor that set the first act apart. And despite the uneven nature of the piece, I have to say that I still enjoyed it. Although mostly because of that first act and Ms. Lavin’s Rita.
The Lyons. Cort Theatre. 138 W 48th St. New York