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The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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(Oct 04, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Based on the original show that launched Pee-wee Herman into an American pop culture icon, Paul Reubens’ beloved quirky character brings his Playhouse to life once more. The Pee-Wee Herman Show On Broadway was shot at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York City in January 2011, immediately following the conclusion of its wildly successful Broadway engagement. The 90-minute HBO special is filled with subversive humor and childlike wonder based both on Reubens’ original stage show The Pee-wee Herman Show and the Emmy-winning Saturday morning television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse that quickly became a cultural phenomenon.

Special Features

Commentary with Paul Reubens and cast

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Reubens, Lexy Fridell, Jesse Garcia, Phil Lamarr, John Moody
  • Directors: Marty Callner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00546032K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,665 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Who really wants to live in a world without Pee-Wee Herman? What began as a one-note joke by comedian Paul Reubens in the eighties morphed into an industry. With two feature films, a Emmy winning series, and numerous specials--it was hard not to get caught up in Pee-Wee's world of childlike wonder. Both innocent and subversive, Pee-Wee's Playhouse rocked viewers of all ages for five glorious seasons circa 1986-1990. With bizarre one liners, deadpan delivery, and a cast of eccentric characters--the show honored classic children's programs even as it pushed them to new lunatic heights. Well Cowboy Curtis, Miss Yvonne, Jambi, Chairry, Conky, and the King of Cartoons among other recognizable animate and inanimate creations are back (although recast) for one more show. Without a doubt, if you love Pee-Wee than nothing I can say will make you stay away!

This Broadway show really just recreates a typical episode of the series (or a less adult version of 1981's debut at the Roxy--grown-up viewers should check this out if you haven't seen it!). The set looks colorful and whimsical, the puppeteers are on point, and the live actors perform with gusto. In fact, everything is so giddily nostalgic--it's hard not to get caught up in the spirit of things. I'm not sure how viewers completely new to Pee-Wee will react to this version. I, personally, think the television show (in shorter segments) is a better initiation for newbies. But let's be honest, this was made to capitalize on all those who loved Pee-Wee back in the day. It plays to what you know and remember and that's why you love it.

Truthfully, at ninety minutes, it's hard to sustain non-stop enthusiasm. Always joyful and entertaining, the show can seem a bit repetitive.
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Format: Blu-ray
Erich Asperschlager, DVD Verdict --The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway is a brisk 89-minute love letter to fans, reuniting Pee-wee with the characters and puppets from his stage and TV show. After an opening song and Herman-led Pledge of Allegiance, the curtain parts to reveal an exact replica of the Playhouse. I haven't seen Pee-wee's Playhouse since I was a kid, but when the lights went up on that set, I couldn't help but grin. If I was the kind of person who cheers at my TV, I would have joined the audience in raucous applause.

That infectious joy is the reason Ruebens' TV show became a hit. Like pure id with a red bowtie, Pee-wee Herman's childlike enthusiasm for the world makes everything, from a scrap of foil to a postcard from a pen pal, fun. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! Yes, The Pee-wee Herman Show even has a "secret word" of the day: "Fun."

Although the show breezes through from beginning to end, it's an amazing juggling act of puppets, performers, props, and sound cues. The filmed performance has the benefit of second takes and reshoots, but the edits only polish an already sparkling gem. Under the direction of Marty Callner, the HBO special adds dynamic camerawork and close-ups to focus attention and punch up the jokes. The combination of stagecraft and TV wizardry makes The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway the definitive version of Paul Reubens' triumphant return, and Blu-ray is the definitive way to watch it.

The 1.78:1/1080i AVC-encoded image is packed with detail, from the glittery jewels of Jambi's turban to the fine weave of Pee-wee's signature grey suit. The hi-def presentation is saturated with color, and bright. At times, the image is too bright, with whites that threaten to blow out under the harsh stage lights.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have always been a Pee Wee fan and even enlightened my own kids to his movies and show. When we read about his Broadway show (and were visiting New York) there was no way we were going to miss him live!! And the show lived up to every one of our high expectations! Yes, the cast is older, but no less wonderful. The show features some current pop-culture, but mostly lets you relive Pee Wee in all his glory. I felt like I was a guest in the Playhouse!

I understand this was aired on HBO a few times, but I don't have HBO! :( I am so thrilled that it is being released on DVD/Blu-Ray and you better believe I have pre-ordered!!

There is lots of tongue-in-cheek/double entendre stuff here (and Pee Wee's abstinence ring!), but my 11 year old twins laughed the entire time, even if they didn't "get" the jokes the same way we older folks did.

Pee Wee fans: this is absolutely not to be missed!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I've been looking forward to seeing this ever since it was announced that HBO was going to tape the show and sell it on DVD and Blu-ray for the masses who couldn't see it live.

It's a quality production and the cast is great. It was nice to see a lot of the original actors resprise their roles (i.e. "Jambi", "Miss Yvonne", and "Mailman Mike")
It's just like watching a "live" episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse (sort of like "the lost episode", if you will).

My only real problem with it, is that some of the story elements are cribbed from Pee-Wee's original HBO special from way back in 1981. -->The Pee-Wee Herman Show - Live at the Roxy Theater
Sure, there are a some new characters added and the story is tweaked a bit for an updated audience, but the end result is the same as his last stage production... 30 years ago.
I expected something different after all that time and all the different stories that were played out on the TV series.

That's not to say that this production isn't fun. I was laughing at quite a lot of it (mostly just the new material, though) and I've always enjoyed Pee-Wee, so I don't regret buying this at all.
I was just expecting this to be a totally brand new production with a new story.

If you are a fan of Pee-Wee and loved watching the Playhouse on Satruday mornings, then I would still recommend getting this.
But if you're kind of a passive fan and you've seen the original HBO special he did (that predates the Playhouse), then you might want to see about renting or borrowing this instead of spending money to own it.
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The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway [Blu-ray]
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