Linda Lavin Thriving in the Ferocious The Lyons
By Ellis Nassour
Nicky Silver’s hilarious [with some dramatic overtures] about a magnificently dysfunctional Jewish family, The Lyons, is quite a critical and audience triumph for the not-for-profit Vineyard Theatre [108 East 15th Street, between Park Avenue and Irving Place], where it’s breaking box office records. Already with two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays and several transfers to Bway, it would be a shame if this seventh Silver play to debut there doesn’t move on up to Bway.
Many wondered why Tony and DD winner Linda Lavin chose not to come to Bway with Follies [after the Kennedy Center revival] or Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities to play self-centered matriarch Rita Lyons. Wonder no more.
"When I read the script," she says, "I was floored. I knew I had to do it. And I’m having a ball, in fact the time of my life."
Lavin, delivering full blast, co-stars with Tony and DD winner Dick Latessa, Kate Jennings Grant [in a fine and ferocious performance after that disastrous 2009 Guy and Dolls revival], Michael Esper, Brenda Pressley and Gregory Woodell. Directing is DD winner Mark Brokaw [Vineyard’s Pulitzer Prize winner How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel].
The Lyons run has been extended through November 20. Tkts are $70 [$100, premium seating]. Run, don’t walk, to the box office or call (212) 353-0303 or purchase online at www.vineyardtheatre.org.
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