|THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW|
Pee-wee Herman's big Broadway adventure technically isn't one of this seasonís holiday offerings, but it's hard to imagine a better way to induce the Christmas spirit. In a fast-paced, candy-colored 90 minutes Paul Reubens excavates his adorable singular creation ó a nasally voiced man-boy who entertained adults as much as children for five seasons' worth of Saturday mornings on Pee-wee's Playhouse.
The playhouse ó faithfully recreated and expanded by David Korins ó is filled with old and new friends of the people and puppet variety. The humans include Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart) and Cowboy Curtis (Phil LaMarr), for whom Pee-wee plays matchmaker, while Basil Twist's puppet array consists of Chairy, Globey and their colorful and obviously named friends, none of whom are terribly pleased about Pee-wee's plan to computerize the playhouse.
That's about as plot heavy as the show gets, except for one other storyline involving Pee-wee's quest to fly. And for fans of the TV show, and Pee-wee's quirky brand of childish humor slyly refitted for adults, who could ask for anything more? If the classics are more your forte, you might regard Pee-wee as a mischievous sprite whose good intentions wreak havoc on those around him.
Alex Timbers' nimble direction keeps the proceedings (written by Reubens and Bill Steinkellner with additional material by John Paragon) bright and buoyant. Even though it's only an hour and a half, it may be a little thin for some tastes, but only a real Scrooge could completely resist the charms of lines like, "Iím wearing a light toilet water Ö but it was an accident," or the laughs he milks from his abstinence ring while working in a reference to gay marriage. The adorable Pee-wee remains his own special creation.
By Diane Snyder
Visit the Site
Pee-wee Herman, Jesse Garcia, Phil LaMarr, John Moody, Josh Meyers, John Paragon, Drew Powell, Lance Roberts, Lynne Marie Stewart
Stephen Sondheim Theatre
124 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036