On Monday, I woke up to a strange circumstance in Los Angeles. What, exactly, was coming down from the sky? Where was the eternal sunshine? Oh my god. It was raining. I thought I gave up precipitation when I left Toronto. It doesn't rain here. What was going on? It was as if I had woken up in a bizarre, alternate world. Though, that made sense. After all, I woke up early to get downtown to meet Pee-wee Herman (a.k.a. Paul Reubens) and to talk about his upcoming Broadway style stage extravaganza, 'The Pee-wee Herman Show', opening in LA in January.

As I drove through the rain to Club Nokia @ LA Live venue, where the play is going to be staged, I witnessed three car accidents during my 15-minute drive. Amazing. Thank goodness these people don't have to deal with snow. I entered the venue, took my seat in the press section and waited to listen to Pee-wee and the show's production team talk about the play. Though Club Nokia is only one year old, there was a continuous drip of rain water leaking down from the ceiling and landing on the stage. LA seriously can't handle rain. Everything floods and people freak out. More importantly, my hair frizzes.

On Monday, I woke up to a strange circumstance in Los Angeles. What, exactly, was coming down from the sky? Where was the eternal sunshine? Oh my god. It was raining. I thought I gave up precipitation when I left Toronto. It doesn't rain here. What was going on? It was as if I had woken up in a bizarre, alternate world. Though, that made sense. After all, I woke up early to get downtown to meet Pee-wee Herman (a.k.a. Paul Reubens) and to talk about his upcoming Broadway style stage extravaganza, 'The Pee-wee Herman Show', opening in LA in January.

As I drove through the rain to Club Nokia @ LA Live venue, where the play is going to be staged, I witnessed three car accidents during my 15-minute drive. Amazing. Thank goodness these people don't have to deal with snow. I entered the venue, took my seat in the press section and waited to listen to Pee-wee and the show's production team talk about the play. Though Club Nokia is only one year old, there was a continuous drip of rain water leaking down from the ceiling and landing on the stage. LA seriously can't handle rain. Everything floods and people freak out. More importantly, my hair frizzes.

I turned to the journalist seated next to me on my right in order to introduce myself. I turned away from him, shook my head to clear my eyes and looked back at him again. Peculiar. He looked a bit young to be a reporter. I know the men here take really good, metrosexual care of themselves, but this was extreme. Who was his plastic surgeon? It turns out that I was seated next to a 9-year-old. Naturally, I asked him what outlet he works for, wondering if it was, perhaps, The Tween Times. Without missing a beat, he said, brazenly, "I work for 213.net." He was a cheeky kid. I liked him. In reality, he had accompanied his journalist father to the event, receiving the perks of being a kid who lives in Hollywood. My dad is a retired pharmacist. Growing up, I received the perks of Tylenol. When I asked the precociously charming boy why he wasn't in school on a weekday, he said that he took the day off from his studies. Wow. In my family, only the chicken pox coupled with polio and scarlet fever would have guaranteed a day away from school.

The journalist seated on my left side, Ashley, said she doesn't remember the television show 'Pee-wee's Playhouse', because she was born the year it first aired. I thanked her for continuing the theme set by the 9-year-old, that of making me feel old. By the time 'Pee-wee's Playhouse' hit television, I almost had my driver's licence.

Finally, the presentation began. We were thanked for coming downtown "so early in the morning" (Um, it was 10 am. Don't most people have to be at work by 9 am?), especially in the rain. They thank you in LA for showing up if it's raining. Seriously weird, these Angelenos are.

Pee-wee Herman emerged on stage wearing his trademark gray suit, red bow tie and white shirt. Along with him were the play's director (OBIE Award winner Alex Timbers), lead producer (Tony Award winner Scott Sanders) and costume designer (Los Angeles Award winner Ann Closs-Farley).

Though Bud Light is one of the show's sponsors, Pee-wee said he doesn't drink it. But, knowing not to crap where he eats, he strongly encouraged the drinking of Bud Light. I can't abide. The only thing I'd suggest doing with Bud Light is washing your hair.

Originally, before it ever appeared on television, Pee-wee staged the original 'The Pee-wee Herman Show' as a live production which ran for five sold out months in the 80s at The Roxy Theatre on The Sunset Strip. Pee-wee concedes that he is mounting the current play in hopes of getting a movie made.

"I want to make a movie," he says in his characteristically nasal Pee-wee voice. "I haven't made a movie based on 'Pee-wee's Playhouse' yet. The script's been written for six months. It's fantastic and a big giant epic adventure and I couldn't get anyone to make it, so this [stage production] is what I did originally to have a career. So, why not?"



The new 80-ish-minute-long subversive but child-friendly 'The Pee-wee Herman Show', based upon the infamous 'Pee-wee's Playhouse' (which ran on CBS from 1986-1990), will begin a 4-week run in Los Angeles on January 12th. In this latest Pee-wee adventure, Pee-wee aims to fulfill his lifelong wish to be able to fly. However, his quest conflicts with bettering the lives of his friends. Just like the television show, the play will revolve around Pee-wee and his wacky cast of colourful 'Playhouse' characters including Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Chairry (Pee-wee's talking chair), and Pterri the pterodactyl. Additionally, there will be a few new characters and some updated pop culture references. For example, Pee-wee now wears an abstinence ring. But, apparently, he likes to er...Twitter.

It appears that, even while he is still in daily rehearsals, Pee-wee's comeback is already on its way. Tickets have been selling like hotcakes, bringing a smile to Pee-wee's cartoonish face.

"It's a big sigh of relief. The opposite of that could have happened and nobody would have bought a ticket. It's very exciting to sell so many tickets. It is really gratifying. It's going to be incredible, especially if anybody is familiar with the show and is a fan of the show. It's so exciting. It seems like it's potentially going to be unbelievable." Laughing, he adds, "I hope I'm right."

So, if you are seeking respite from the cold, dark days this winter, why not book a trip to Los Angeles and catch the limited engagement play, a special treat away from the typical touristy fare of Hollywood Boulevard. The kaleidoscopic, vibrant set looks marvellous, and the family-friendly show is guaranteed to make you laugh.

You may just love it so much, you'll want to marry it.