Paul Reubens

Pee-wee Herman charms the cognoscenti

Pee-wee Herman charms the cognoscenti

Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones may be pulling serious theatergoers in to Driving Miss Daisy, but the glory of Broadway is that just a couple of blocks away, you can catch Pee-wee Herman chatting with some flowers, arguing with a chair, and instructing the audience to scream every time they hear the word “fun.”

For a heady top ticket price of $227, The Pee-wee Herman Show basically recreates Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Paul Reubens’ legendary 1980s program for very advanced children, starring a bratty but lovable arrested child in a bowtie and a smirk.

Todd Solondz' LIFE DURING WARTIME

Todd Solondz' LIFE DURING WARTIME

After a stint of experimental flops – 2001′s STORYTELLING and PALINDROMES in 2004 – writer/director Todd Solondz’s latest film, LIFE DURING WARTIME, marks a return to the familiar world of HAPPINESS, his successful 1998 follow up to his break out film WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE. HAPPINESS revolves around a family of three sisters: Helen, a successful, jaded writer, Trish, a Mrs. Cleaver type in pleated khakis and Joy, a frizzy-haired, soft-spoken, flower child screw up. Perversion and pedophilia, two of Solondz’s all-time favorite themes, are hard at work here, whether it’s Philip Seymour-Hoffman’s character jerking off to calls to random women in the phone book or Trish’s husband Bill, the unsuspecting nebbish (Dylan Baker) who rapes his son’s friend from little league.

Pee-wee's NYC adventure

Pee-wee's NYC adventure

When Pee-wee Herman took to Twitter last week to announce his show, which I wrote about last year here, was coming to Broadway I nerded out in a major way. I view Herman as a style icon. His look and his show brought freaks even more mainstream. Via his TV show he taught kids of…

More Tim Burton: PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE

More Tim Burton: PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE

It’s a strange thing to reach adulthood and see, for the very first time, a film everyone else saw before they hit puberty. For me that film is PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE. I’m not going to lie; When I was a kid, Pee-wee really freaked me out. I thought he was creepy and weird and unnecessarily loud. But as part of Tim Burton’s retrospective, MoMA is screening all of his films, starting last night with PEE-WEE, his 1985 feature film debut. After Paul Reubens saw FRANKENWEENIE (a full-length remake is due out in 2011) he chose Burton to direct PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, which had, until that point, been a stage-show at the Roxy in L.A. and of course, an HBO special.

Pee-wee's back

Pee-wee's back

Paul Reubens, he of public masturbatory fame, is reviving the character that made him world famous: Pee-wee Herman. Herman started out as a crude stand-up act and then became a popular children’s TV show and a feature film directed by Tim Burton. Beginning in November, Pee-wee will be performing live at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood. And yes, Chairry, Pterri the pterodactyl and Miss Yvonne will be present. Maybe a trip to LA is in order?