We had originally bought tickets for the show that was to play in November, but then the show was moved to a different venue and rescheduled. It was a comedy of errors in the way that Ticketmaster botched the process for ticketholders. It was a painful process, but I was able to (eventually) get new tickets and in better seats than we had before, so it was totally worth it!
The show itself was a blend of the old stage show (from the Groundlings) and the TV series. It was written for "all ages" but there were plenty of nods to adult humor thrown in for good measure. There were also several members of the original cast (Miss Yvonne, Jambi) which made it extra fun. Since everyone in Pee Wee's world is ageless, it was great that they embraced the fact that time is moving forward and didn't re-cast to get younger actors.
One of the "make goods" for the original ticketholders was that we would get an opportunity to meet Pee Wee himself and interact with him via a Q&A session. A friend of Kate's (Erik) is one of the puppeteers in the show (yay for puppets!) and he said that they'd tried having a 1:1 meet-up, where every fan would get a chance to take a picture and get a single item autographed, but it was taking hours, so they refined the process and now "Pee Wee" addresses the group first from the stage, with his sincere thanks for making the show a success (and you could tell it was genuine. He kept getting choked up on gratitude.), and then he took questions from the crowd.
I was a little overly aggressive on the way to the meet and greet session, which resulted in us sitting in the front row which was great. The other people who sat in the front row? Wow...um... weirdoes.
I hesitated on asking a question, mostly because I didn't have anything really great to ask... but as it turns out, very few people did. People just love hearing their voices over the PA. One guy asked this rambling (ram-buh-ling) question that ended up essentially being that what he wanted was for Paul Reubens to denounce the Tonight Show and side with Conan O'Brien. The answer was truthful and intelligent and, essentially, he's friends with both Conan and Jay Leno and that he'd be glad to appear on either program (let's face it, do you want to burn bridges over getting promotion time on a program based on a network decision that was out of your control anyway?).
One other lady leaped on him to ask her question, which was.... odd. She started with saying that she and her husband collect Pee Wee toys and they have one of the large Pee Wee dolls and they consult it as a magic 8 ball and ask it questions. But they were having a problem with getting a straight answer, so they wanted to ask Pee Wee himself: is Kevin, the bird from the movie Up, really a girl? Paul Reubens actually paused at this point to say "remember: the better the question, the better the response." and gave her a chance to reconsider... but no, that was what she wanted to know. His answer? He wasn't involved with the movie and hasn't seen it. (My answer: you're an idiot! This is what you wanted to ask?!!)
One of the best/most interesting parts of the meet and greet was actually the way that Paul Reubens tells stories. I don't think he's capable of a yes/no response. And everything reminds him of something, so every response actually launched into a story, which was great.
He also discussed the reason for relocating the show (needing bigger space for the show, better infrastructure), including why put on the show now? The reason is that he's had another Pee Wee movie script done for years and he really wants to get it made. It'll be a Playhouse story, taking place in Puppet Land (which is where the Playhouse is) and it'll be an adventure into the wider world of Puppet Land. Sounds great - I want to see it! And staging the show was a way to bring attention to the Pee Wee franchise and show that it is still relevant -- and it is!
I took home an awesome souvenir: bandanas with Cowboy Curtis and Miss Yvonne! They are so delightful exactly how they are, but I am going to do some small embroidered embellishments and turn them into a throw pillow so that I can look at them every day!
It was a great evening, rounded out with eating too much at Palermo's, and then catching up over coffee -- until someone overheard our conversation and got super interested in talking comics with Ryan and made a new best friend. Can't take that guy anywhere!!