Phantom Theater is switching this week’s offering from “Alien” to the intimacy of a makeshift night club where Robin Lehman will offer up some professional piano playing and talk politics a little in his new show, “In Lehman’s Terms.” He describes a personal musical journey from his “lily white roots” to an appreciation of the rich Black influence in his art. “I love political interaction and the blues,” he said. “This show deals a little bit with racism.”



Lehman lives in Warren and works at the East Warren Community Market, where he often has NPR turned up so he can listen to commentary and music. He admits to being “practically a recluse.” He came from a musical family and made his living from his music for years, but then “quit completely in disgust and poverty. I both hate it and crave it,” he added, admitting that he plays keyboard every night when alone and enjoys it.

Last year friend and artistic director at Phantom Theater Tracy Martin convinced him that her theater would be a fine home for his talent, though he had his doubts. But he screwed up his courage to see if the performing environment was any different from all those years ago. Obviously, it was, as he is returning this year with his own combination of performance art -- his hands will be videotaped and projected onto a screen during the show -- tickling the keys and storytelling. He asked himself when he decided to perform what it was that people would want to hear from “a 68-year-old out-of-date musician,” and decided it “comes to the hands. People want to see these amazing hands do what they were trained to do,” he said. “I could fail miserably at the monologue and the show would still be a success.”  


“In Lehman’s Terms” will run one night, Tuesday, August 17, at Phantom Theater on the corner of Dump and Airport Roads in Warren. Tickets are first come, first served, with a suggested donation. Showtime is 8 p.m.  Go to for directions and more information.