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Pee-wee Herman's promoters explain ticket confusion

October 8, 2009 | 11:32 am


Representatives of Paul Reubens have sought to mollify angry fans by offering an explanation for the confusion surrounding the ticket exchange and refund process for the actor's postponed stage comeback.

On Tuesday, Reubens announced that "The Pee-wee Herman Show" -- a re-imagined version of his '80s stage hit -- would be pushed back to January from its planned opening in November. The show is also moving to the Club Nokia in downtown L.A. from its original venue at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood.

Fans have expressed disappointment over the postponement. And their disappointment has turned into frustration surrounding the complicated ticket exchange and refund process.

Promoters of the show said the new price structure for the Club Nokia engagement means that a simple exchange isn't possible for some ticket holders. For instance, those who purchased tickets for $38.50 at the Music Box will either have to downgrade to standing room or spend more money for a seat, according to promoters.

Tickets for Club Nokia range from $29.50 to $125. Club Nokia features a traditional seating arrangement, while the Music Box has cabaret-like table seating.

The engagement at Club Nokia will feature VIP seating for $125. The VIP package will include premium floor seating, access to the Club Nokia VIP Lounge and other benefits.

Promoters emphasized that Club Nokia has nearly twice as much seating as the Music Box and that current ticket holders have about a week's time to exchange tickets or get a refund before tickets go on sale to the general public.

Fans expressed frustration today that the number given out for Ticketmaster resulted in long wait times.

One upset fan told Culture Monster in an e-mail that he "spent over 3 hrs calling Ticketmaster yesterday on the number they emailed to ticket holders. NEVER got through."

Others had an easier time of it. "I was able to switch my tickets pretty painlessly," said Ben Zurawski, an art student in Chicago, in an e-mail. He added: "It's a pain that I've already purchased my plane ticket...and I'll be losing a few hundred bucks on that."

A spokeswoman for Reubens said that the actor intends to meet fans who were inconvenienced by the ticket-exchange process after the performance.

"I want to grovel to them in person," said the actor in a statement issued by the spokeswoman.

-- David Ng

Photo: Paul Reubens at a 2006 event in Burbank. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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Fans of Pee-wee Herman angry over show's postponement

Comments () | Archives (15)

It's the least Pee-Wee can do for his fans. I'll be enraged if this VIP meet and greet doesn't happen. Even after all this trouble, lost funds on flights from Canada. I'm still beyond excited to see him!

I'm taking the refund, which takes 5 business days to get. I actually got Ticketmaster on the phone this morning and I was expected to pay $160 for two "comparable" seats, even though my refund wouldn't go through for 5 days. Couldn't afford to be out the money and wait all week for my refund to cover it, so I'm out. I got screwed. I was real excited too. Bought my original tickets in the first five minutes they went on sale months ago. Now, I'm not going at all.

Dealing with Ticketmaster has been a total debacle. The whole matter has been mishandled. If Pee Wee wanted to add extra shows at the Nokia, that's fine but he should have honored his commitment to his fans at the Music Box and honored those dates. What happened to "the show must go on"? I'm letting my tickets default to REFUND because I have no more time to deal with this.

I bought the tickets for an anniversary present for my wife, she loves Pee-Wee. I tried for hours yesterday and could not get through, got through today, only to be told that I couldn't exchange my tickets. Times are tight, so I too have to wait for the refund to get processed before I can get new tickets. After spending all the time picking out good seats, and now this. To also find out that my new tickets may cost more, I think today's secret word(s) is "Bait and Switch"
The irony is that I received the tickets for the canceled show in the mail today. We will have to put them next to her Pee-Wee doll, Those tickets might be the closest she gets to the show. Good luck to everyone else.

i finally got thru today..i was all set to just get a refund.. i had given up on the whole thing after reading what everyone else has dealt with.. but in talking to the ticketmaster guy.. he.. dare i say.. was very helpful.. he did some research and he got me 2nd row seats a little off to the side for $65 a piece which is $2 LESS than the 2nd row seats i had at music box... i do have the tickets in hand and they are officially only $65.. the guy at ticketmaster told me that the $120 seats are the ones front and center.. but if you go for the side sections or a few rows higher up the prices get cheaper.. (try for sections 101 or 103)

and i took the advice of someone else and called this number 800.745.3000 with this phone # they end up transfering you to customer service.. my wait time was about 20 minutes..

hope this info helps
i feel bad for the out of towners.. but for those of us in town there is still a bit of hope.. and well there is hope for you out of towners if you are will to rebook your flight

Someone needs to check their facts on this story. I was told that I could not purchase the $29 tickets, that the only way for me to go to the show was to purchase the more expensive $49 tickets and "comparable" seats would cost $59 nearly double what I originally paid.

Again, there was no "ticket confusion", they chose to screw over the people who already had tickets. If they really cared for the fans and wanted to take care of us, then they should have provided a comparable seat offering for every price point, they should have been inconvienced and taken the cost hit for the upgrade in seating, not me. Just disgusted in how poorly this was handled.

Wow, maybe people aren't asking the right questions. After waiting on hold for an hour - which was a nightmare, I ended up paying $8 less for the same balcony seats. I am stoked!! Can't wait to see ya Pee Wee!

Sorry that all you guys spent money on this. I even wonder if this Nokia show will come off at all. I wouldn't bet on it. Look at all the movies he was supposed to make. Pee-Wee's days are long over. What is he now, 62? There's something really icky about him.

If he really wants to grovel in person, how 'bout coming hang out with me & the fam while we're wondering around in LA Thanksgiving weekend without a Pee Wee cabaret show to attend?! The Price is Right isn't even taping then, dammit!

Seriously, the promoters must have access (through TicketMaster) to the contact info for most of us out-of-towners who purchased Music Box tickets; they could think of something special to send if they actually wanted to.

So much for the coolest Thanksgiving ever...

We just got through to Ticketmaster, only to find out that it's not a straight exchange--the amount of our tickets was credited back to our card, and we have to repurchase. Lies upon money-grubbingness.

Can someone explain how the hell he's going to meet with the fans who got screwed over? All of our tickets were refunded. We are being sat with other fans. Is Pee-wee psychic now?

get a clue you clowns. pee wee got your money and he's taking a bath in it. it's all about doing a huge venue making $$$ and blowing la for nyc. it's over for pee wee- didn't you see him on leno? that was scary sickening. whatever magic he might have had last century ain't here now. i wouldn't spend a penny on him.

At the Groundlings Reubens used to do one other character (his repetoire was very thin): an angry, greedy old man named Moses or Moisha or something. That is the real Paul Reubens. And this money-grab with Nokia just proves it. I am so happy I didn't bother lining up like a lemming to buy a ticket to this almost certain disaster. Why not just watch "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" if you want to see a delusional old person try for a come back.

i don't know why all of you are blaming this on Paul/Pee Wee. it sounds more like the fault of the Nokia for not being willing to let existing ticket holders exchange them for comparable seats at no extra cost AND those money-grubbing vultures known as TICKETMASTER. if Paul or his promoters are at any fault here it is for underestimating how hugely popular his comeback show would be amongst his fans.
I've been to club nokia a couple of times, and it's an OK venue, but just to park in their lot is $25.00. read that again....TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS for parking! and that is self-park, NOT valet. now, if they can ask $25 for a parking space without blinking an eye, they are certainly not going to let go an opportunity to wring more money out of you, like making you pay double for a seat you already paid for.
and Ticketmaster? i avoid them whenever possible, because buying two tickets for anything always costs us at least $35 in extra fees, and that is with picking tickets up at will call. had we had them mailed or even printed them at home, we would have been charged even MORE. for $35, we could have bought a third ticket and still had money left over. they are another business that is not going to let slip a chance to screw you out of as much money as they can.

and VioletStereo- i can understand your disappointment, but if you are still coming to LA that weekend you certainly won't lack for attractions- Universal Studios & City Walk, Disneyland & Downtown Disney, Knott's Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, Aquarium of the Pacific, Queen Mary, LACMA, the Getty, La Brea Tar Pits & LA Natural History Museum, Ripleys Belive it or Not, Hollywood Wax Museum.....it may not be the coolest Thanksgiving ever, but it can still be fun.


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