I dont know why I never posted this! Pee-wee Review

9 Mar

I saw The Pee-wee Herman Show in LA in February and it was

Pleasantly Twisted

(pic from Pee-wee’s fb… lol)

This particular Saturday night, in downtown Los Angeles, was sponsored by Bud Light and started off with The Pledge of Allegiance – a precursor indicative of the tone for the next hour and a half of The Pee-Wee Herman Show. The stage at Club Nokia was a fantasy of colors, over and undersized talking furniture, novelty gizmos and cartoony sound effects. Pee-wee, a pale and skinny, disproportionately dressed man of childish exaggerations roused the crowd with his chipper demeanor and deep rolling laughs that can better be described as a vibrating gurgle. A few empty seats scattered the venue, but good vibes were more than ample. This was the closing night of a month-long production directed by Alex Timbers, founder of New York’s Les Freres Corbusier (a theater company).

To be biologically expected, Pee-wee looked a bit older and even a bit creepier (Paul Reuben, now 57). A slightly disturbing thought followed when Pee-wee chucked his abstinence ring. Moving on. Back in the day, Pee-wee’s innocence trumped any subtle attempts to look up Ms. Yvonne’s skirt, whereas now the script had given way to blatant sexual innuendos. This flagrant approach marks an increasingly desensitized generation and, most certainly, an increasingly open-minded generation. He did indeed get laughs at every ploy, most were well deserved.

Playful infomercial references ran rampant. ShamWow made both a pre and posthumous appearance due to his accidental placement in the deep fat fryer. A possible hint at our nation’s tendencies for overindulging in fast fat-laden fare was made when Pee-wee stated he would starve without his fast food fryer. Josh Meyer’s character, Firefighter, suggested Pee-wee lay off the commodity after almost burning down the playhouse. Good advice.

The updated script also acknowledged the crowd’s vocabulary of pop culture. Resistance was futile. The curious nature of late Michael Jackson’s ever-lightening skin pigment was referenced for Jackson has been a classic butt of many-a-joke. ShamWow listed amongst its numerous household-helpful capabilities that it was completely bleachable. Pee-wee retorted, “Aren’t we all.”  Such an obvious cry for a laugh was met by mixed response. Some half-hearted chuckles were met with booms of laughter and clapping from a plainly generous or possibly more devout group of fans.

Every once in a while, the glitter encrusted video screen would drop down and play old school cartoons or lessons for good little children to mind their manners. This was a welcome throwback to “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” where each episode had a wholesome lesson to be learned. Apparently generosity wasn’t on the list.

Pee-wee was uncontrollably distraught for he sacrificed his one wish so Miss Yvonne, the most beautiful woman in Puppet Land, could be happy in her desire for Cowboy Curtis to like her, reeeally like her. The man of childish exaggerations demanded a second wish from Jambi. The genie’s bejeweled doors snapped shut, leaving the tantrum induced Pee-wee to lament out loud. Cowboy Curtis announced he already liked Ms. Yvonne, reeeally liked her. By default, Pee-wee got his wish to fly, a satisfying conclusion for a theater chalk full with gleeful Pee-wee lovers.

Rife with adult humor, pop culture and a devout crowd, the updated Pee-wee Herman Show was pleasantly twisted.

Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles held the final night of The Pee-wee Herman Show February 7, 2010.

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