Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Lyons
Vintage Theatre: 2/7 – 3/9

     Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” is dark serious drama with a decidedly comic edge that will set you free! It’s a no-holds-barred black comedy of the devastatingly funny variety!!
     If you think you’ve seen button pushing controlling   parents and siblings, wait til you meet the Lyons.
     The vitriolic matriarch in August Osage County pales in comparison to Persoff’s performance as Rita.
     Ms. Persoff leads this Matriarch-driven production as Rita Lyons.  Now that her husband Ben is dying the bitterness has come to a head and rather than his getting a chance for an emotional and sentimental bon voyage, these two come to loggerheads at the death bed. 
Left to right: Joey Wishnia and Deborah Persoff

     Their two emotionally damaged children are treated to a smorgasbord of barbs and insults in their feuding that devastate the funny bones of not just them, but all in attendance. 
     Persoff’s performance is vital and drop-dead funny with a tear in its eye. Her acerbic Rita is by turns brittle, catty and caustic.  
     Joey Wishnia is masterful as Rita’s husband Ben, the exasperated and exhausted Patriarch. When the phone rings in the middle of one of Rita’s tirades Ben says, ”I hope it’s death.”
     In Bernie Cardell’s sensationally well directed production laughter accompanies the mean-spirited thrust and parry of these embittered spouses and their progeny in a way that may put one in mind of an Albee play. You may also think of the dysfunctional family of royals in James Goldman’s “Lion in Winter.”
Left to right: Haley Johnson and Preston Britten

     Haley Johnson’s performance in the role of Lisa, Ben and Rita’s daughter is this reviewer’s favorite since she played Blanche in Vintage Theatre’s production of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named  Desire.”
     Preston Britton’s portrayal of Curtis, their emotionally scarred son, turns in what to this reviewer’s eye is his best work on stage to date.
     Nathan Bock delivers an assured performance at the top of Act Two recalling our memories of his superb Richard in “The Lion in Winter.”
The correctly sparse and minimalist scenic design causes the characters to really pop.

Vintage Theatre presents
"The Lyons"
Ben Lyons is dying and sentimental goodbyes are abandoned in this delicious dark comedy by Nicky Silver.
Feb.7 - Mar. 9
Fri/Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sun at 2:30 p.m.; Thurs. Mar. 6 @ 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Mar 8 @ 2:30 p.m.
$26 ($21 advance); Groups of 6+ $18
303-856-7830 or online at
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010Marlowe's Musings

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