Last night, the Ginger Ninja and I caught the 9:30 presentation of The Pee-Wee Herman Picture Show, a showing of the cult classic Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, dramatically augmented by a simultaneous live performance of the movie by local community activists and indie rock stars from the Hidden Cameras, Apostle of Hustle, Broken Social Scene, Kids on TV, Republic of Safety and The Phonemes.
Why did such a production take place? Aside from the fact that it’s a fun and new way to see an old film, it’s also a great way to kick off Bike Month, when we here in Accordion City promote the bicycle as a fuel- and cost-efficient, fitness-building, environment- and community-friendly way of getting around. It’s also a better way to convince people to bike than having some patchouli-reeking unwashed hemp-clad underemployed hippie chaining himself to an SUV and reading bad poetry and manifestos about bicycles, which is what a lot of bike awareness rallies feel like.
Local artist Lex Vaughan (of the art duo “Bucky and Fluff”) played the titular role, with Dave Meslin acting as a Pee-Wee stunt and mirror double. Both Vaughan and Meslin used thier playing the same person to great effect, especially in the scenes where Pee-Wee made a quick change of outfit and where Pee-Wee primps in front of a mirror. The other actors played several roles — not just as people in the movie, but also as props and scenery. One of the best bits was when a dozen people played the role of Pee-Wee’s breakfast-making machine.
I took photos throughout the performance, and you can see them in my Flickr photoset, titled The Pee-Wee Herman Picture Show. I’ve got some samples below — click them to see them on their Flickr pages:
For more about The Pee-Wee Herman Picture Show and the people behind it, check out this article from local weekly paper Eye Weekly: Toronto Cyclists’ Big Adventure.