aul Reubens is making a "triumphant return to public scrutiny," said Annie Barrett in Entertainment Weekly. After nearly 20 years away from the spotlight, the 56-year-old actor is reviving his Pee-Wee Herman character for a limited-engagement live stage performance called The Pee-Wee Herman Show, which is scheduled to begin November 8 at The Music Box @ Fonda in Los Angeles. Reubens' "feature films never panned out"—maybe this will.
"It's ambiguous as to whom the new stage show will be geared," said David Ng in the Los Angeles Times, as Reubens' TV series Pee-Wee's Playhouse, which ran from 1986-1990, was billed as a kid's show (watch a clip from Pee-Wee's Playhouse). And since then, "Reubens' career has been a roller-coaster ride of legal fiascoes," from his no contest plea on a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure after being arrested in an adult movie theater in 1991, to the child pornography charges against him due to images in his art collection in 2002.
But "show business loves nothing more than a comeback," said Josh Wigler in MTV.com, and "depending on the success of these shows, it's very possible that Pee-Wee might ascend to the big top of Hollywood once more." Reubens has two finished screenplays based on his Pee-Wee character ready to go, and if his stage show "can draw in significant Pee-Wee loving crowds," it could serve as "a reference point for studios wondering if a new Pee-Wee Herman movie is financially sensible."
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