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The Pee-wee Herman Show!

November 8, 2010

In November, 2010, I attended the revival of The Pee-wee Herman Show at The Steven Sondheim Theater at 124 West 43rd Street in Manhattan. The first thing I noticed is that everyone has been missing Pee-wee Herman! The theater was jam-packed with people of all ages, from three year-olds to ninety-three year-olds, and when the lights went down the crowd went crazy, yelling and screaming for Pee-wee. He obligingly appeared from the shadows in his tight little gray suit and red bowtie to even more screams, if that is even possible! After his characteristic laugh and a bit of posing and eye-lash batting, he gave a brief introduction and then skipped merrily behind the curtain, upon which shadow puppets began dancing crazily to the old Pee-wee Herman Show music.

And then the curtains lifted to show—-Pee-wee’s playhouse—-in all it’s gaudy delight, and with all the characters right where we left them a couple of decades ago.

The show is as campy and crazy as always, with plenty of double entendre for the adults that will go right over the heads of the little ones, so it’s a great uplifting fantasy land for adults and kids alike.

It seemed a little weird to see Pee-wee in this older mode (now 58) as he doesn’t have quite the pep he had when he left off twenty years ago, but it doesn’t matter. It’s Pee-wee as only Paul Reubens can play him, and he puts on a great show with his old cast of characters who fall right into their old roles like a second skin. The crowd loved it.

Happily there is a new Pee-wee Herman movie in the works too!
Anyway, if you go to New York see the show; I don’t know how long it will be playing, but it is a great trip down memory lane, and you won’t be disappointed.

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