How do you explain the caustic and yet never lewd humor of Tom Lehrer? The Harvard grad and quietly respectful mathematician made quite a name for himself in the 50s and 60s with his upbeat songs about the S&M scene (The Masochism Tango), venereal disease (I Got it From Agnes) and cannibalism/necrophilia (I Hold Your Hand in Mine), and yet he never sang a dirty word or crossed the bounds of good taste. All right, he maybe nudged a toe over that line. But like all great satirists, Lehrer trusted in the intelligence of his audience; he didnt need to hit the lowest common denominator to get a laugh. Tomfoolery, the musical revue featuring all the highlights of Lehrers oeuvre, receives a rare set of performances courtesy of the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Summer Showbiz series. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (June 5 through 15) in the Metcalf Theater (I-270 and Rte. 157; 618-650-2774 or www.siue.edu/theater). Tickets are $12 to $15.
PHOTO CREDIT: BILL BRINSON
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: June 5. Continues through June 15, 2008