Feature

Theater: The Pee-wee Herman Show

Paul Reubens has returned with his trademark bow-tie and a stage version of Pee-wee Herman.

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Los Angeles
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Paul Reubens has returned to his roots, said Terry Flores in Variety. Nearly two decades after he got caught doing something he shouldn’t have in an adult movie theater, and his odd and lovable man-child character Pee-wee Herman was evicted from his morning-television playhouse, Reubens has stepped back into the bow-tie. The Pee-wee Herman Show is a new version of the stage production that first brought the crew-cut geek fame in the 1980s. Reubens may be 57 now, but his Pee-wee is “little worse for the wear.” He still looks the part, and retains every bit of Pee-wee’s spastic energy. Classic Pee-wee lines such as “I know you are but what am I?” and “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” are given a little help by the audience’s gleeful sense of nostalgia.

“Hello, Pee-wee! Boy, were you gone for a long time!” said Charles McNulty in the Los Angeles Times. It’s good to see you and all the old gang, including your adorable talking armchair, Chairy, and such old friends as the glamorous Miss Yvonne and, in the purple chaps, Cowboy Curtis. I have to say, I wish the new Pee-wee Herman Show “was a little less reheated.” But from the moment you first walked onstage and said, “Good morning, boys and girls!” in that funny voice of yours, it didn’t really matter all that much that I was basically watching “three back-to-back episodes of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” Maybe soon you’ll get a big movie deal and give us a better script. Until then, I’ll consider this “the restart of a beautiful friendship.”

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