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That’s Gross: (Save?) The Lyons

We’re kind of worried about The Lyons. Its grosses have consistently been some of the lowest on Broadway. When Linda saw it on Saturday night, the entire balcony and most of the mezzanine was empty. And Saturday night wasn’t a fluke – this week, The Lyons grossed $209,210 and filled 44.8% of its house. It’s a shame, because it’s a really fucking great play.

Yet it appears that The Lyons is dealing with the same issues that plague many small, new plays. A title few Times Square tourists have heard of, the lack of a big star, a small theater on the outskirts of the theater district, an over-crowded season, and dark subject matter. It can be a recipe for disaster. And even though the show’s gotten great reviews, and Linda Lavin received a Tony nomination for her performance, The Lyons has struggled to find an audience.

Look at the numbers since the first week of performances:

4/8 $48,615 $16.93 53.2%
4/15 $127,852 $19.11 77.5%
4/22 $129,854 $21.04 71.5%
4/29 $198,432 $38.31 60%
5/6 $200,354 $49.75 46.7%
5/13 $215,547 $54.39 45.9%
5/20 $209,210 $54.06 44.8%

With declines in the capacity percentage since mid-April, you might actually be surprised that The Lyons has held on this long. But look closer at the numbers.

The average price of admission and gross have steadily increased until this week, which is a positive sign for the show, and could mean that The Lyons has stopped giving away tickets and that people are actually starting to buy them.

Though the numbers fell back a bit this week, producers are likely hoping that grosses continue to increase or at least hold steady. We don’t imagine it costs a fortune to run this show, and we hope they can keep it open at least through the Tonys, where Linda Lavin might get some stage time.

If you want to see The Lyons, however, you should probably buy your tickets now. And bring 20 friends. Or 50.

Numbers are provided courtesy of The Broadway League. Here’s this week’s full grosses report.

Read more from NineDaves and LovelyLinda on their blogs.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • M May 22, 2012, 12:17 pm

    They had the same problem here with HAIR last year. HAIR, for god’s sake. It was the 2009 revival, the same you had but only translated into spanish, and it was empty. EMPTY. Even though it started a fandom who would go regularly and had quite good actors, it would only fill up to 10 rows on the mezzaine.. I felt so bad for them… But here that story is little known, you need to say “where the song aquarius comes from” so that people know what you are talking about…
    Of course at the same time we had The Lion King (1st time), Les Mis, Grease and a couple of spanish musicals.. which didn’t help either. =(
    My best wishes for The Lyons, I’ve heard Lanvin and Esper are great!

  • Carol Stern May 22, 2012, 7:17 pm

    The Lyons is FABULOUS!!! Linda Lavin is amazing. The rest of the cast is superb! Nicky Silver is a genius. Go see for yourself!

  • David Levy May 22, 2012, 11:40 pm

    I don’t want to live in a world where Linda Lavin isn’t a “big star.”

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