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Viva La Lehrer IV - Two Big Shows - SATURDAY April 8, 2017, 6:30 and 8:45
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Santa Cruz, CA
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Though advance sales have ended, plenty of tickets to the 8:45 show are available at the door. Door ticket price is $30.


Viva La Lehrer IV - Two Big Shows - SATURDAY April 8, 2017, 6:30 and 8:45
Special Late Show 12 for 1 price for UCSC and Cabrillo Students and faculty, minimum 2 tickets per order.

Click this link to see how much fun you won't have if you don't buy some tickets.

Lehrer Fans and Lovers rejoice! (and anyone who thinks they might qualify if only given the chance). On the eve of Mr. Lehrer's 89th birthday, 20 of Santa Cruz's most interesting musicians, singers and performers will come together in joyous frenzy to wallow with you in the luscious rhymes, lyrical lists, poignant satire, and playful portrayals of utter mayhem that have made Tom Lehrer a legend on three continents and a pop culture icon to multiple generations.

Early Show (6:30 - 8:00) is 90 minutes of non stop Lehrer with no intermission.
Late Show (8:45 - 10:45) is longer with a brief intermission and even more of what you can't live without.
But of course, we don't expect Mr. Lehrer to participate, but there will be surprises! It all comes together at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. Proceeds will benefit Homeless Services Center of Santa Cruz, a most worthy cause.

Kids, bring your parents. They'll be glad you did.

For the complete lineup of featured performers, click here.

On Creating a Lasting Tribute to Tom Lehrer
by Peter Nichols
Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 2015

The Tom Lehrer of the 1950s and 60s was no Elvis. Neither was he a Bob Dylan. But then he never sought nor welcomed the fame that accompanies the special gift he had. The barely 50 songs he wrote and recorded during those decades made him a legend on three continents with cult status that defies the boundaries of time and place.

As an 18-year-old Harvard grad-student, several years junior to his peers, he pictured the grown-up-Tom to be a math professor. But he carved a special niche there by playing piano and weaving luscious rhymes, poignant satire and playful portrayals of utter mayhem into clever concoctions that others found irresistible. He quickly became a center of attention.

After barely 14 years nurturing a show business career he never really wanted, he turned to his academic roots, teaching. In 1972 he found himself at UCSC where he would develop a whole new class of followers. His math class, titled The Nature of Mathematics, he playfully dubbed Math for Tenors. A musical theater class followed that became so popular a competitive audition was required for admission. Whispers continue about secret, invitation only jam sessions he held in the bowels of Cowell College.

But his decades-long efforts to ignore and even disavow his place in American pop culture has had little affect on those who feel a deep personal relationship with his unique world view and the compelling manor in which he expressed it. His genre, though developed during and in spite of the early days of Rock n Roll, was his own, combining show tunes, Dixie, ragtime and jazz.

Efforts to revive Lehrers catalogue come up periodically, the most successful being Tom Foolery on Broadway in the 1980s. Last year, I and eighteen local performers introduced what we hope will be an annual and lasting tribute to his life and songs titled Viva La Lehrer. Where better to anchor such an endeavor than right here in his winter home, Santa Cruz.

Last years edition was wildly successful bringing fans together from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Bakersfield. With one sold out show and a second added at the last minute, $2,300 was raised for one of Lehrers favorite charities.

What was so striking to me was not that people wanted to see such a performance, but that perfect strangers could experience an irrepressible and undeniable sense of camaraderie for which there were no words to explain. It was as if we were all on Planet Lehrer, everyone a stranger-friend to the others and for the time none caring a lick about the rest of anything. It was, in a word, special.

Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane's Proclamation read during Viva La Lehrer II, April 9, 2015:

WHERE AS Tom Lehrer was born Thomas Andrew Lehrer in New York City on this day in 1928; and

WHERE AS Mr. Lehrer studied at Harvard University preparing for a career as professor of mathematics when he wrote Fight Fiercely Harvard the first of approximately 50 songs that he would eventually record; and

WHERE AS Mr. Lehrers penchant for luscious rhymes, poignant satire and playful portrayals of mayhem in the songs he recorded in the 1950s and 60s made him a legend on three continents and a pop culture icon to multiple generations of fans and followers over the past 60 years; and

WHERE AS Mr. Lehrer continues to inspire revivals of his work including tonights celebration; and

WHERE AS Mr. Lehrers decision to return to academe at the university of California Santa Cruz has contributed to the prestige that the university has come to enjoy; and

where as Mr. Lehrers time at UCSC, first as instructor of mathematics and musical theater and now as Professor Emeritus and mastermind of interesting events has contributed mightily to the accomplishments and well being of students and non-students alike; and  

NOW, THEREFOR, I, Don Lane, Mayor of the city of santa cruz, do hereby proclaim April 9, 2015 as Tom Lehrer day in the of santa cruz and encourage all citizens to join in the celebration of the life and songs of tom Lehrer.



Kuumbwa Jazz Center (View)
320 Cedar St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States

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Comedy > Stand Up
Music > Festivals

Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Peter Nichols
On BPT Since: Oct 24, 2013
Peter Nichols

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