July 9, 1991 |
The last time the Grove Shakespeare Festival staged "Tomfoolery," a revue of songs by satirist Tom Lehrer, company founder Thomas F. Bradac directed and Cyrus Parker-Jeannettewas his assistant. That was in May of 1989. Now, as the Grove's latest version of the show approaches, Parker-Jeannette is in charge of it. But Bradac's presence is being felt as much as ever. Bradac, 43, resigned unexpectedly last week after 12 years as the festival's artistic director.
April 20, 2003
Comedians -- In an April 6 review of Gerald Nachman's book "Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s," Stan Freberg was identified as being Jewish, while Tom Lehrer was identified as not being Jewish. Freberg is not Jewish, and Lehrer is Jewish.
October 3, 2004
I was surprised that Mike Boehm's fascinating article about "Alma" (" 'Alma' Is a Muse in Motion," Sept. 26) did not have a sidebar mentioning Tom Lehrer's brilliant song about Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel. Like Joshua Sobol, Mr. Lehrer was struck by Alma's gravitation toward husbands of genius: "Alma, tell us! / All modern women are jealous / You should have a statue in bronze / For bagging Gustav and Walter and Franz." The lyrics and melody are priceless, and you don't have to pay $125 to schlep around a theater for three hours.
November 7, 1996 |
Taste-challenging songs including "The Masochism Tango," "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" and "The Old Dope Peddler," first released in the Eisenhower era, gained Tom Lehrer a reputation as an underground humorist of the first order. Broadcast personality and novelty record authority Barrett "Dr. Demento" Hansen calls Lehrer "the most brilliant musical satirist ever to have made records."
June 22, 1990 |
Rodney Dangerfield isn't the only comedian who gets no respect when it comes to compact discs. Shelley Berman, Bob Newhart, Mort Sahl and Jonathan Winters each had Top 25 albums in the late '50s or early '60s, but none of those albums is available in CD. The absence of Newhart and Winters is especially surprising because of Newhart's continuing popularity on television and Winters' widely acknowledged influence on such contemporary figures as Robin Williams. Newhart's first two Warner Bros.
February 7, 1986 |
Whatever happened to Tom Lehrer, you ask? Well, the Harvard mathematician-turned-satirical songwriter--who penned such ditties as "National Brotherhood Week," "The Vatican Rag" and the immortal "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"--is alive and well and living (in absentia, anyway) in "Tomfoolery," an entertaining compendium of Lehrer tunes currently tinkling ivories at the Burbage.