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Lehrer My God to Thee

Tomfoolery is back in style

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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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