Lehrer My God to Thee

Tomfoolery is back in style

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 didn’t need to hit the lowest common denominator to get a laugh. Tomfoolery, the musical revue featuring all the highlights of Lehrer’s 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

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