The Layers of Tom Lehrer

peas in a pod productions · Ages 16+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by SHARI BARRETT

September 05, 2021 certified reviewer
tagged as: Tom Lehrer · Lenny Bruce · math · Cold War · Comedy · standup · humor · solo

What I liked

Allan Murray was really enjoying himself onstage and it was apparent his lifelong admiration of Tom Lehrer was guiding him along the way. Also of note was his “behind-the-scenes” assistant who offered voice over musings and interview snippets conducted with Lehrer in which he spoke about his life in and out of the spotlight.

What I didn't like

I look forward to experiencing this fun hour of entertainment at a larger venue where I will not have to keep shifting in my seat to see around the head of the person in front of me!

My overall impression

The intimate setting was a perfect location for this timely re-visit to the social satire created by Tom Lehrer during the Cold War years of my childhood when “duck and cover” drop drills were part of our everyday lives. While laughing along with the audience from start to finish, I also learned about Lehrer’s other talents, including being a Mathematics professor, a career he longed to return to for its predictability and stability as opposed to the uncertain aspects of his life as a standup comic whose “sick” sense of humor back then was often compared to that of Lenny Bruce. But now, it seems all the more normal to talk about as well as laugh about such things.

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