Tag Archive | Pee-wee’s Playhouse

Wayne White’s Invisible Ruler at Joshua Liner Gallery

Asshole
All Photos By Gail (Click On Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

The fall gallery season kicked off in a huge way on the evening of September 11th, with dozens of opening receptions competing for attention and the streets of the Chelsea Gallery District packed like Sixth Avenue during the annual Village Halloween Parade as art lovers scrambled to make it to as many shows as possible. It was a blast! Our first stop of the evening was one of our favorite spots, Joshua Liner Gallery, for Invisible Ruler, featuring new works by Wayne White, an exhibit which did not disappoint!

Wayne White has had an extensive career as an artist and art director. A three-time Emmy Award winner for his production design on Pee-wee’s Playhouse, White is also noted for his music videos for Peter Gabriel and The Smashing Pumpkins. And, as you will see by the works in this fun exhibit, he is an accomplished Sculptor, Puppeteer, Painter and Illustrator.

Wayne White Word Art Display Wall

For Invisible Ruler, Liner’s large front gallery is dominated by an exhibit of White’s signature Word Paintings. For this series, White paints bold slogans, phrases or single words over mundane, bucolic landscapes and vintage offset lithographs to create a startling and thought provoking contrast of images.

I Started a Joke
Favorite Bee Gees’ Song

Blo Jo

I believe with this one, your mind might fill in a couple of seemingly “missing” letters. These Word Paintings are lots of fun.

Wayne White Cubist Watercolors

There is also a selection of the artist’s Cubist-style watercolor drawings, which he created during his residency at the Rauschenberg FoundationJoshua Liner did nice job of painting the gallery wall to match the style of these works.

Wayne White Cowboy

Wayne White Blue Watercolors

These two, above are especially beautiful

Wayne White Giant Puppets

The Oh Wow moment arrives when you unexpectedly come upon this pair of 15-foot, hand cut kinetic sculptures (tucked away in the rear gallery space) that White has named The Louvin Brothers — giant cardboard puppets based on American country music duo Ira and Charlie Louvin. This installation was the most impressive piece of art I saw in the entire two-hour course of the evening’s art crawl, and it definitely elevates Invisible Ruler to the status of a Must-See show.

It was nice to meet Wayne White in person at the gallery that evening; he is super cool. Thanks for the great art, Wayne!

Wayne White’s Invisible Ruler will be on Exhibit through October 11th, 2104, at Joshua Liner Gallery, Located at 540 West 28th Street, NYC. Gallery Hours are Tuesday — Saturday, 11:00 AM — 6:00 PM.

Must See Show: The Pee-Wee Herman Show Opens on Broadway!

 

Pee-Wee-Herman-Show-Playbill-10-26

It seems so funny to think that these days, Pee-wee Herman, a character made famous by the gifted actor Paul Ruebens, is a household name. Most people know Pee-wee from the wonderfully infamous Saturday morning ‘children’s’ program, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, but Pee-wee’s roots are a bit more ‘indie-based.’ Pee-wee’s vehicle for his eventual launch to international superstardom was The Pee-wee Herman Show, a 1981 stage play that became a wildly successful HBO special and thus spawned the entire Pee-wee Herman franchise, including films such as Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and, not long after, Pee-wee’s Playhouse. In January and February of this year, Ruebens revived The Pee-Wee Herman Show for a successful run at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, and the play has now moved to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on West 43rd Street, where it will make its home until January 2, 2011. The Pee-wee Herman Show officially opens today (November 11th) but Geoffrey and I were fortunate to catch the last night of previews and we had a total blast.

The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway remains extremely faithful to the original script, so if you’ve seen the HBO special, no matter how long ago that was, most of the show will be familiar to you. Pee-wee still consorts with many of the same characters, with just a few new ones added and others retired. Lynne Marie Stewart reprises her role as Miss Yvonne, “the most beautiful woman in Puppetland,” and John Paragon also returns as Jambi, the Genie in a Box. The only significant change in casting, though many probably won’t notice, as the lines of dialogue are identical, is the substitution of Cowboy Curtis (who made his debut on the Saturday morning show) for Captain Karl, originally played by the late Phil Hartman, as Miss Yvonne’s love interest.

Some jokes have also been updated and fresh pop culture references added to bring everything a bit more up to date. For example, in this show Pee-wee struggles with having the Internet installed in the Playhouse for the first time, wears an “Abstinence ring” and makes friends with a talking, flying Sham Wow. Returning characters include Mailman Mike and puppet favorites like Pterri the pterodactyl – who is awesome – Chairy, Clockey the USA wall-map/clock, Randy, Globey and Conkey the Robot. We also get to see the claymation cartoon, “Penny” and the vintage “Mr. Bungle” 1950s educational film about good manners, which is just insane. Geoffrey and I loved every minute of the performance, but my favorite part was at the very end, when Jambi grants Pee-wee’s wish to fly. Seeing Pee-wee, “The luckiest boy in the world,” fly through the air over the stage was hilarious.

It’s also worth noting that the Playhouse set is so vibrant, so colorful, and there is so much to take in visually at all times that when the curtain first rose and the lights hit the stage, I literally could not hold back a squeal. Geoffrey’s review, with some photos he took of Pee-wee after the show, is up now at this link.

Tickets for The Pee-wee Herman Show are pricey but worth it. Definitely see it if you can!