Pee-wee Herman’s comeback has been pushed back and moved to Club Nokia. This may sounds like a distinction without a difference but it has created quite an uproar amongst Pee-wee Herman fans.
And as we all know, the last people you want to upset are Pee-wee Herman fans.
This past August, actor Paul Ruebens announced that he was bringing back his perpetually youthful, alter ego in a redesigned version of his 80’s stage production, “The Pee-wee Herman Show.”
The production was scheduled to open Nov. 19 at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood. However, in early October Reubens announced that he was moving the show to Club Nokia in downtown L.A., and pushing the show’s debut back to Jan. 12, 2010.
Only one problem, tickets had already been sold. The change of venue and rolling back opening night meant everyone with tickets for the Pee-wee Herman Show at the Music Box had to exchange them for tickets at Club Nokia.
Anticipating a negative fan reaction, Reubens issued the following statement.
“To the fans who already bought tickets, I apologize for the inconvenience of the venue and date changes and am arranging for you to come backstage and say hello!”
You might think this is no big deal. You just exchange the tickets. What’s the fuss? It’s just a bunch of beatniks driving in from the Valley, right?
Not quite. Ruebens’ reshuffling has really irritated his fans especially the variety that aren’t located in Southern California.
PWH fans from sea to shining sea made iron clad travel and hotel plans to come and watch The Pee-wee Herman Show. Many of these die-hards lost big chunks of money changing or canceling reservations.
Tickets from the Music Box don’t really have a counterpart at Club Nokia. Music Box features cabaret style seating while Club Nokia takes a more traditional approach. The Music Box is 25,000 square feet and seats 1,300. Club Nokia is 59,000 square feet with a capacity of 2,300.
Also, the two venues have different price points. A $38.50 ticket for the Music Box gets you SRO at Club Nokia.
Tickets to the Nokia range in price from $29.50 to $125. Those $125 tickets include prime seating and access to a VIP lounge.
It’s quite obvious what precipitated this move… money.
Producers obviously realized that Herman was much more popular (or lucrative) than they first imagined.
His 1991 arrest for indecent exposure at an adult theater in Sarasota, Florida has been forgotten.
Fans clearly cherish their memories of his Saturday morning kids show that aired on CBS.
They hold the actor in such high regards that even in this down economy they are not only willing to spend money to see him perform, they are willing to travel long distances for the opportunity.
It’s a shame the producers didn’t have a better pulse on their audience from the get-go. They could have skipped the inconvenience and gouged fans from the start.
“The Pee-wee Herman Show” will run at Club Nokia from Jan. 12 to Feb. 7.