The star best known for playing Pee-wee Herman will come to Tampa Theatre for a 35th anniversary screening and discussion of the film
One of the most famous stars to come out of Sarasota will soon return to the area on a 20-city national tour.
Paul Reubens, best known for his role as Pee-wee Herman, will visit Tampa Theatre for a 35th anniversary screening and discussion of the movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” on March 13. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.
Though born in New York, Reubens grew up in Sarasota, graduating from Sarasota High School and performing in stage shows with Asolo Repertory Theatre and The Players Centre for Performing Arts. In a 2016 New York Times Magazine profile, Reubens said the eccentricity of the circus town of Sarasota — where his nearby neighbors included a family of human cannonballs — made an impression on him, as did his parents.
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“My dad was funny, my mother, too, and they were both do-gooder, let’s-help-people types,’’ Reubens said. ‘‘They instilled that in their kids.’’
Reubens would later move to Los Angeles and join the renowned improv comedy team The Groundlings, where he created the character of Pee-wee Herman. He would play Pee-wee in a stage show, the television series “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and the 1980s films “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and “Big Top Pee-wee.”
A 1991 indecent exposure arrest in a Sarasota adult movie theater would briefly derail his career, with Reubens later taking supporting roles in films like 1999’s “Mystery Men” and 2001’s “Blow.” Yet he’s revived the Pee-wee character in recent years, including for the 2016 Netflix film “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” and a Broadway stage show that was also released as an HBO special.
Tickets for the Tampa Theatre show cost $34.50 to $75, with a variety of VIP packages including photo ops and a meet-and-greet with Reubens ranging from $104.50 to $399.50. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit tampatheatre.org.
This story originally published to heraldtribune.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.