Tony-award winning actor Dick Latessa is currently starring opposite Linda Lavin on Broadway in Nicky Silver’s The Lyons where he plays the family’s dying patriarch.
In an interview with TDF, Latessa spoke about the part, which he previously played at The Vineyard last fall. He said, “I’m enjoying this incarnation much better. The audience reaction is better, too. It’s funnier. The guy is supposedly dying, but what’s more boring than watching somebody die? You want to watch him not go silently into the night. I’m using all my faculties and all my strength for my last gasp, and I think that’s right for this character. He dies on the run.”
Latessa notes that there are challenges to playing Ben Lyons. He said, “It’s hard lying in that bed for forty-five or fifty minutes. In the first incarnation, I played it more ‘on his way to death.’”
The actor is enjoying playing the role even more during its Cort Theatre run. He said, “For me, that’s the way repeating roles has always been: The second time around is much better. We’ve all gotten better. Having that time off between—we didn’t know whether we were going to go to Broadway or not—it’s like a gestation period. You never lose something that you’ve worked on. It sits in there somewhere, and when you get to do it a second time, you come back with a lot more.”