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Publishers WeeklyIn this comprehensive account, Gaines enthusiastically chronicles the arc of "Pee Wee's Playhouse"- from Pee-Wee Herman's inception at the Groundlings Theatre in L.A. in the early 1980s, to the show's entry into the "Saturday Morning television war zone" in 1986, to the recent Broadway adaptation. "Playhouse" was greeted with fervor by all ages-kids loved Pee-Wee's goofy antics, adults rediscovered their inner child, and the show's avant-garde format created a cult following of college students. Despite minimal input from Reubens, Gaines insightfully reveals the more sinister vibe that existed behind-the-scenes, as many of the show's contributors struggled with Reubens's egotism. Though Pee-Wee's iconic persona and Reubens's unique talents are unquestionable, the technical innovation of animators, producers, and directors is at least partly responsible for the show's lasting impression. Stills from the Playhouse and a fantastic Episode Guide enable the reader to relive memorable moments and learn obscure trivia. Though brutally honest in recounting crew conflicts and the fickle world of show business, Gaines demonstrates the enchantment and broad appeal of the Playhouse, as well as the spontaneity of a show where "anything could happen." Photos.
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