Review Roundup: THE LYONS - All the Reviews!
Jonathan Mandell, The Faster Times: On second viewing now that it has transferred to Broadway, I find the performances broader and the play slighter...One can suspect these changes were effected to accommodate the more mainstream theatergoers of Broadway, but, even if so, I am not scandalized. What worked in “The Lyons” downtown still works. The acting still could not be better. Linda Lavin gives a nuanced (if louder) performance that should not be missed. She may initially seem little more than a quirky caricature but she winds up something more, different, thought-provoking.
Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly: But outside the confines of that fluorescent-lit, pressure-packed, disinfected room, The Lyons feels ill at ease. Though Silver has wisely excised Lisa's rambling Alcoholics Anonymous monologue since the late 2011 Off Broadway run, an extended apartment-showing scene lingers at the top of act two; and on second viewing, it seems less compatible with the witty whirlwind we've just witnessed. (It actually feels like a short play in itself, like one that might appear at the EST Marathon mentioned in the scene — 10 points for audience members who get that inside-NYC-theater reference.) It does provide a convenient route back to the hospital, where comic order is, thankfully, restored. But there's only so much struggling-actor shtick a viewer can take, even from a hunky blond broad-shouldered broker (Gregory Wooddell). Besides, that all-white apartment could really use a Rita Lyons makeover."
Joe Dzeimianowicz, NY Daily News: Death looms large in Nicky Silver’s Broadway play, “The Lyons,” a caustic and canny comedy about family dysfunction packed with surprises that are alternately hilarious, tragic and absurd. Emerging just as big as the Grim Reaper in her ferociously funny and constantly compelling star turn is Linda Lavin, who plays a wife (and soon-to-be-widow) and mother whose bark and bite can wreak havoc. And has.
Elisabeth Vincemtelli, NY Post: Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” — which opened on Broadway last night after a hit run at the Vineyard — is packed with such sweet nothings. When you hear them delivered by pros like Dick Latessa and Linda Lavin, it’s comedy nirvana.
David Sheward, Backstage: In a Broadway season full of transfers from Off-Broadway, Nicky Silver's "The Lyons" comes charging onto the Great White Way with a savage roar that is simultaneously a scream of pain and a shout of dark laughter. The script has been trimmed somewhat, and the performances and staging have been pitched slightly broader to accommodate the larger house after a successful run at the Vineyard Theatre, but this merciless comedy of a dysfunctional family dealing with mortality and regret is still an intimate and scary examination of how we cope with loneliness and disappointment. Linda Lavin continues to give a master class in comic timing.
Robert Feldberg, Bergen Record: "The Lyons" — and shouldn't that be "The Lyonses," as the plural form of a name ending in "s"? — works only half the time. But that half, taking the notion of family dysfunction to the outer limits of humor, is darkly entertaining theater.