Broadway, HBO Bring New Challenges for The Pee-wee Herman Show's Team
ABOVE: Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman; BELOW: Pee-wee with Jambi (John Paragon) and Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart).
Photos by Joan Marcus, courtesy of Cristina Waltz.
Posted: Monday March 14, 2011
One make-up design works three
When Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman, made
a comeback last year in The Pee-wee
Herman Show Live On Stage, make-up artist Ve Neill revisited the
designs she had done for the TV show Pee-wee's
Playhouse and made adjustments for theater. (See Make-Up Artist magazine Issue 84.)
winter, the show got two more makeovers as it moved from Los Angeles to
Broadway and then to HBO, which is about to air the film it made of the
Broadway show. Cristina Waltz, who oversaw application duties in Los
Angeles, moved East with the show as make-up and wig supervisor and
began looking for backup once she arrived.
"I called OCC
and they recommended Katie Pellegrino," said Waltz. "Her understanding
of bold color and flawless skin were perfect for what I needed for Jambi
and Miss Yvonne. We worked really well together and created great
looks." The pair
was joined by Steven Kirkham and David Kalihiki; Obsessive Compulsive
Cosmetics and Make Up For Ever were the show's make-up sponsors.
Neill's blessing, Waltz added design elements and adjusted the make-up
to compensate for lighting and scale changes. "The lighting on Broadway
was very bright and the stage was bigger," Waltz said. "Everyone looked
like ghosts compared to cartoon-y lighting in L.A. We exaggerated the
characters' features. Everyone had much darker tones so they would look
more youthful and alive.
"We had to do a lot of playing with the
colors. We did natural but heavy applications of make-up. We got
feedback from the director and Paul and kept playing 'til we got it
Added Pellegrino: "Cristina and I were constantly racing
back and forth from backstage to the back of the theater, double and
triple checking that the make-up was reading from the back of the
orchestra or the balcony. It sometimes felt like a game that we were
playing, to see how long you could linger in the audience before you
absolutely had to be backstage for your character's make-up change or
One of the biggest challenges was Jambi the genie.
"They tried to light him a lot more to make a head floating in a box,"
said Waltz. The team used a Wolfe Face Art & FX teal green to
reflect highlights, removed some of the color and glitter around the
eyes and added white to the lids, switching the liner style from "less
Egyptian to more '60s Elvira, to give him sharper features," Waltz said.
Then there was Miss Yvonne, an older actress playing a much
"We did a lot of moisturizing-skin prep
plus seven different shades of foundation to make her look youthful,"
"Katie was able to work with her skin–she has more mature skin, but she
looked beautiful. Her shadows were more pink and orange and a more
dramatic eyeliner going on, more dramatic lips."
after the show wrapped (it ran from Oct. 26-Jan. 2), HBO came in to film
it for cable, which meant reigning in the design and application for a
softer look. "When we did it for HBO, we had to knock it back down,
since lighting was more natural and we had close-ups," Waltz said.
thing that didn't change drastically over time was Reubens' iconic
make-up. The key, said Waltz, was "lots of blending, contouring of
colors, lots of little subtleties and color around his forehead. I try
not to overpowder him—he has naturally dewy skin."
said, Reuben's make-up has changed dramatically since the early days
when he did it himself with heavy pancake. "When Ve Neill came in and
redesigned it for the TV series and the second movie, it took a leap
into the Space Age," Reubens said. "She humanized it a little bit. I was
an early guinea pig at using an airbrush for make-up."
Pee-wee might not think make-up is important ("What make-up?" Reubens
joked when asked for Pee-wee's assessment), Reubens himself feels that
the changing design and application has helped him develop his character
over time and in different venues.
"I wasn't a boy then, and
I'm certainly not now," he said. "To say I'm make-up dependent is kind
of an understatement."
The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway on March 19.
London-based make-up artist Angela Holthuis and photographer Izabela Habur set a challenge for themselves: Habur
asked Holthuis, a fashion pro, to create “a small story with bold looks
within a small time frame, to test out how far we [could] push
ourselves creatively,” Holthuis said.
Make-Up Artist magazine is now accepting student competition
applications for the 2009 Los Angeles International Make-Up Artist
Trade Show. The themes for this year are Gothic and X-Men Mutants. The competition is open to students of a recognized make-up school and
to those who graduated 12 months prior to the competition. Make-Up Artist will only accept competition entries postmarked by May 22, 2009.
If you like Prescriptives products, you’d better stock up while you
can: On Sept. 17, Estée Lauder Companies announced it will stop
production and global wholesale distribution of the brand by Jan. 31,
2010. The brand will still be sold online at www.prescriptives.com
while inventory lasts.