Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, by Germain Lussier. No, not THAT theater. Check out a montage from the show, read the press release and more after the break.
Paul Reubens, better known as Pee-wee Herman, created that voice that sounds helium-induced back in his school days. While driving to an editing room to put the final touches on the special, Reubens recalls creating Pee-wee for a sketch he did with the Groundlings, the improv troupe, in The special is based on the "The Pee-wee Herman Show," which ran 80 performances on Broadway late last year and turned the Stephen Sondheim Theatre into his wacky playhouse.
Going back almost 30 years, I've never been able to see him as more than a novelty act whose gimmick wears out real fast. That said, you have to admire the fact that Paul Reubensthe comedian who created the Pee-wee Herman character, has resurrected Pee-wee from what seemed like certain death a few years ago when Reubens was arrested for public lewdness in a movie theater. That seemed like such a surefire career and character killer that the rest of us should bow in awe when Reubens not only resurrected Pee-wee, but propelled him to Broadway and now an HBO taping of that Broadway show.
The cable network filmed the minute intermissionless production following its final Broadway performance Jan. The show, according to the producers, "reunites the one-and-only Pee-wee Herman Paul Reubens with many of the original Playhouse cast of characters — including Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Pterri the Pterodactyl, Jambi the Genie, and Chairry — for an all new celebration of sophisticated silliness. An eye-popping 90 minutes of subversive humor and childlike wonder, The Pee-wee Herman Show charts a day in the life of our bow-tied hero, one of the most inspired comic personas of our time. Dogg sound design and Jake Pinholster projection design.
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Filmed this winter during the show's limited run at Manhattan's Stephen Sondheim Theater, it's a happy mix of childlike wonder and mildly adult humor - too mild for "Two and a Half Men," but maybe too adult for Saturday mornings - that allows Reubens to be timeless and yet topical. Gay marriage gets a nod, and so, perhaps, does the legal unpleasantness that led to Reuben's absence from our living rooms for several years. Blink, and I promise, you'll miss it altogether.
The colorful production recently announced a four-week extension to Jan. The intermissionless minute stage show is based on Reubens' cult classic stage production, The Pee-wee Herman Showwith new elements from the ground-breaking CBS show "Pee-wee's Playhouse. Reubens, who is making his Main Stem debut, was recently asked by Playbill whether he found the prospect of playing Broadway intimidating?
After the warming surge of seeing Paul Reubens step back into his beloved character, watching what amounted to 90 minutes of the Saturday-morning show — equal to four episodes strung together — proved a bit too much of a good thing. Taped for HBO, however, the special delivers a taste of the communal experience the theatrical revival provided, with the cameras enabling director Marty Callner to explore the funhouse set and audience reaction. In short, Pee-wee had to go legit to put him back where he belongs — on TV.
Pee-Wee brings Puppetland to Broadway--and the Playhouse to life--in this all-ages adaptation of the sensational stage show. Start Your Free Trial. New subscribers only.
Photo Credit: MCT. Paul Reubensbetter known as Pee-wee Hermancreated that voice that sounds helium-induced back in his school days. While driving to an editing room to put the final touches on the special, Reubens recalls creating Pee-wee for a sketch he did with The Groundlings, the improv troupe, in Since Reubens had not yet finished editing the special, no preview tape was available to screen.