Pee-wee Herman Heads to Broadway; Starts Oct. 26 at Sondheim Theater
Producer Scott Sanders announced today that film and television icon Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) will bring his signature brand of hilarious mayhem to Broadway for a special six-week limited engagement of the acclaimed stage play, The Pee-Wee Herman Show.
Based on Reubens' 1981 cult classic stage production, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, with new elements from the ground-breaking CBS show "Pee-wee's Playhouse" added generously, this new production is written by Paul Reubens and Bill Steinkellner, with additional material by John Paragon. Directed by Alex Timbers (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson), The Pee-Wee Herman Show will feature music by Jay Cotton and the work of renowned puppetry artist Basil Twist. Direct from its acclaimed, sold-out run in Los Angeles, The Pee-Wee Herman Show will begin its 48-performance limited run on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 and officially open on Thursday, November 11 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 West 43rd street). The engagement will run through December 5.
Based on the Saturday morning television show that became a cultural phenomenon, The Pee-Wee Herman Show reunites the one-and-only Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) with many of the original Playhouse cast of characters - including Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Pterri the Pterodactyl, Jambi the Genie, and Chairry - for an all new celebration of sophisticated silliness. An eye-popping 90 minutes of subversive humor and childlike wonder, The Pee-Wee Herman Show charts a day in the life of our bow-tied hero, one of the most inspired comic personas of our time.
The complete design team for The Pee-Wee Herman Show includes David Korins (Scenic Design), Ann Closs-Farley (Costume Design), Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design), M.L. Dogg (Sound Design), Jimmy Cuomo (Design Consultant), Jake Pinholster (Projection Design), and Ve Neill (Make-Up Design).
Complete cast for The Pee-Wee Herman Show will be announced shortly.
The original Pee-Wee Herman Show debuted at The Groundlings Theatre in 1981 and quickly moved to the Roxy Theatre On Sunset Strip for five sold out months. Taped as part of HBO's "On Location" series, the show catapulted Pee-wee into the national consciousness, leading to his many appearances on "Late Night With David Letterman," and a 22-city tour that included Carnegie Hall. In 1985, Warner Brothers brought Pee-wee to the big screen with Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Tim Burton's feature film debut (co-written by Reubens). Pee-wee's second film, Big Top Pee-wee, was released in 1988.
Created, co-written, and co-directed by Paul Reubens, the CBS television series, "Pee-wee's Playhouse," premiered in 1986 and earned 22 Emmy Awards in its five seasons. Reubens has been nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, winning twice. While "The Pee-Wee Herman Show" and "Pee-wee's Playhouse" were an homage to an earlier generation's television classics -- "Howdy Doody," "The Mickey Mouse Club," and "Captain Kangaroo," among others -- Pee-wee himself became one of the most original and beloved stars in all of television history.
When Cartoon Network re-aired the series in 2006, 1.5 million viewers watched every night; the next year TV Guide named "Pee-wee's Playhouse" among the top 10 cult classics of all time.
The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday - Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday at 2pm and 7pm.
Tickets, priced $65 - $120, will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, June 1st at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200. The box office at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre will open at a later date.
Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman). At 5 years of age, after seeing an elementary school play, an Indian pageant, The Legend of Leelawallah, Paul decided to become an actor. His father built him a stage in the basement of their house and Paul wrote, produced and starred in plays he performed for the neighborhood. In 6th grade, he stepped onto a real stage for the first time as Nick Burns in A Thousand Clowns. Reubens created Pee-Wee Herman while a member of the famed Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings. The Pee-Wee Herman Show premiered at The Groundlings Theatre On February 7, 1981 at midnight. It quickly moved to The Roxy on Sunset Strip where it ran for an unprecedented five months. The HBO broadcast of the show introduced Pee-wee to a national audience. Pee-wee was brought to the big screen in the hit 1985 comedy Pee-wee's Big Adventure, which he co-wrote and which marked Tim Burton's directorial debut. Reubens went on to create, co-write and direct "Pee-wee's Playhouse" on CBS where the series earned 22 Emmy Awards during its five year run. Reubens has been nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, winning twice. Pee-Wee Herman was made an honorary Muppet, received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame and was made an honorary Marine in conjunction with his work with Toys for Tots. Reubens has starred in a number of diverse film and TV roles, including "30 Rock," "Pushing Daisies," "Reno 911," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Murphy Brown," which earned him an Emmy nomination. His film credits include Mystery Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Blow. Upcoming films include David O. Russell's Nailed and Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime. In the world of animation, Reubens has lent his voice to many projects including Dr. Dolittle, The Nightmare Before Christmas and "Family Guy." He currently can be heard as The Bat-mite on "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" and as the voice of Rex the Robot, the tour guide of George Lucas' Star Tours ride at Disneyland and Disneyworld.
Alex Timbers (Director) is an OBIE Award-winning director. Credits include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (also co-writer; Public Theater and Center Theatre Group), Peter and the Starcatchers (Disney Theatricals/La Jolla), Gutenberg! The Musical! (Drama Desk nom.- Best Director of a Musical), Hell House (also adaptation; Drama Desk nom.- Unique Theatrical Experience), ...Scientology Pageant (conceiver; OBIE Award and Garland Award- Best Director), The Language of Trees (Roundabout), Boozy, Heddatron, Dance Dance Revolution (Les Freres), Beyond Therapy (Williamstown/Bay Street). Alex is the Artistic Director of NY-based company Les Freres Corbusier.
Bill Steinkellner (Co-Writer) is a four-time Emmy Award winner ("Cheers" and the animated series "Teacher's Pet"). Bill has also received the Golden Globe, People's Choice and Writers Guild Award for "Cheers" and the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for "Teacher's Pet." Onstage Bill co-directed and wrote the original The Pee-Wee Herman Show. He also created and directed the LA cult hit Instaplay. Bill is co-book writer (with his partner, Cheri Steinkellner) of Sister Act: The Musical now playing at the Palladium Theater in London.
John Paragon (Additional Material) starred in his own Showtime special, "The Paragon of Comedy" and in cult movie classics, Eating Raoul, Echo Park, and Weird Al's U.H.F. Other TV guest star appearances include "Cheers," "Star Trek Deep Space 9," and a recurring role on "Seinfeld." Paragon received 5 Emmy nominations for writing and co-directing "Pee-wee's Playhouse" and co-wrote (with Paul Reubens) the acclaimed "Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special." Paragon is also a creative consultant for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Jay Cotton (Music) majored in music at East Texas State University where he met long time pal Gary Panter who designed the original production of The Pee-Wee Herman Show and suggested Jay write the music. Jay scored two "Pee-wee's Playhouse" episodes and wrote and co-produced Pee-wee's hit single, "I Know You Are, But What Am I?" He's also an animator and cartoonist.
David Korins (Scenic Design). Broadway: Little Miss Sunshine (upcoming), Passing Strange, Bridge and Tunnel. New York: The Wiz (City Center); When The Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center Theater); The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Roundabout); The Receptionist, Pumpgirl (MTC); Hamlet (Delacorte); Why Torture is Wrong... (Drama Desk, Hewes Awards), Yellow Face (Public Theater); Jack Goes Boating (LAByrinth), Drunken City, Miss Witherspoon (Playwrights Horizons); Farragut North (Atlantic); Stunning (LCT3), Blackbird (Hewes Award); Orange Flower Water (Edge Theater); Swimming in the Shallows (Second Stage). Regional: CTG, The Huntington, Old Globe, ACT, Williamstown, Geffen Playhouse, Berkeley Rep., Santa Fe Opera, Toho Tokyo. 2009 Obie Award For Sustained Excellence. www.davidkorinsdesign.com
Ann Closs-Farley (Costume Design) is a Los Angeles award-winning designer. Her recent credits include: Disney's Toy Story: the Musical, Land of the Tigers, Around the World in 80 Days, James and the Giant Peach, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Menopause: the Musical, The 99 Cent Only Shows, and Stranger: the Musical. She has earned multiple Awards for her work in Batboy: the Musical, The Seagull, The Exonerated, Sneaux, Gorey Stories: the Musical and more, as well as, the Local Hero Award from BackStage West. She is best known for her recyclable fashions in paper and plastic. annclossfarley.com
Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design) LA: All Under Heaven; Matt and Ben; The Last Night of Ballyhoo; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; The Underpants; and Mathew Modine Saves the Alpacas. New York credits include: Kiki & Herb Alive on Broadway; Next Fall; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Ordinary Days; Love Child; Family Guys Sings; Jerry Springer The Opera; Rufus Wainwright's Judy Concert at Carnegie Hall; Adrift in Macao; Streamers; The Voysey Inheritance; Things We Want; The Internationalist; Drumstruck; Jacques Brel; I Love You Because; Almost, Maine; Trumbo; Matt & Ben; Cam Jansen; Miss Witherspoon; Privilege; The Dazzle; Fiction; Jennifer Muller The Works.
M. L. DOGG (Sound Design) has designed for such companies as The Boise Contemporary Theater, Naked Angels, The Pearl Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre, The Living Room For Artists Inc., 13P, Two River Theatre Co., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Roundabout Theatre, Working Theatre, Ars Nova, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Stillpoint Productions, The Women's Project, Theatre B, Wash And Fold Productions, and The Actors Theatre of Louisville. Awards: Outstanding Sound Design, 2005 FringeNYC Festival, Go-Go Kitty, GO!; Drama Desk nominee, 2002, Cressida Among the Greeks.
Jimmy Cuomo (Design Consultant) is happy to be part of the team recreating The Playhouse and all its characters for this production, after having art directed "Pee-wee's Christmas Special" and "Peewee's Playhouse," for which he won an Emmy. Recent stage designs: Children Of The Night, The 25th Annual S.T.A.G.E. Benefit: The Brothers Gershwin and Best In Drag. Television designs: "Comics Unleashed," "At the Movies," "Judge Alex," "Family Feud," "World Poker Tour," and "Live With Regis And Kelly in LA." www.jimmycuomo.com
Basil Twist is a third-generation puppeteer whose credits include Symphonie Fantastique, La Bella Dormente Nel Bosco, Dogugaeshi, Hansel and Gretel, Red Beads, Behind the Lid and Arias With a Twist. He has partnered with the Spoleto Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Houston Grand Opera and Atlanta Opera. He has received an Obie, four UNIMA Awards, two Bessie Awards, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, a Henry Hewes Award, a Guggenheim and a USA Artists fellowship.
Jake Pinholster (Projection Design). Professor of Media Design at Arizona State University in the Herberger Institute School of Theatre and Film, one of the first design training programs in the country to offer a chance to specialize in projection/video design for live performance. Associate artist with Les Freres Corbusier. Off-Broadway: Escape from Bellevue, Dixie's Tupperware Party, Boozy (LFC). New York: David Dorfman Dance's underground (BAM) and Disavowal, Dance Dance Revolution (LFC), HeddaTRON (LFC). Regional: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Center Theater Group), Hoover Comes Alive! (La Jolla Playhouse), Current Nobody (La Jolla Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company).
Ve Neill (Make-up Design) won an Emmy Award for her make-up design for the original "Pee-wee's Playhouse." One of the most renowned film makeup artists, and nominated for 23 international awards, her credits include the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Star Trek the Motion Picture, Galaxy Quest, The Lost Boys, Beetlejuice (Academy Award), Mrs. Doubtfire (Academy Award), Ed Wood (Academy Award), Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Stigmata, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Blow, A.I.- Artificial Intelligence, Edward Scissorhands, Matilda, Hoffa, Amistad, Duplex, Sweeney Todd, The Love Guru, I Love You Phillip Morris, and Priest.
Scott Sanders (Producer). Scott Sanders Productions is a leading theatre and film Production Company whose projects have grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide and have involved world-class and award-winning talent from across the broad spectrum of the film, television, music, theatre and arts communities. The company's Film division has a first-look deal with Walt Disney Pictures and maintains its West Coast office on the Disney lot in Burbank. The company's Theatre and Live Entertainment division is backed by a private equity investor group and is based in New York City. In addition to being lead producer of the 11 Tony Award nominated hit Broadway musical The Color Purple, Sanders is widely credited with the historic turnaround of Radio City Music Hall. Additional Broadway credits include Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (2002 Tony Award), and the HBO special of "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty" (two Emmy Awards), and Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance. Sanders partnered with Queen Latifah and AEG in a groundbreaking music partnership to record and produce her first vocal album, "The Dana Owens Album," which is approaching platinum sales status and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Sanders also launched film and television powerhouse Mandalay Entertainment with partner and chairman Peter Guber and served as president of Mandalay Television, executive producing six network series - in association with Columbia TriStar - including ABC's "Cupid" with Jeremy Piven and the WB's "Young Americans" with Kate Bosworth. Mr. Sanders first met Pee-Wee Herman in 1983 when he was seated in the ‘hot seat' during one of Pee-wee's early performances at Caroline's in New York City. Sanders became an instant fan and in 1984 gave Pee-wee his Carnegie Hall debut.