Hello, my little Vikings! I am finally getting a chance to sit and give my write-up on Cinefamily's 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete' Reunion.
The Orpheum Theatre played host to the closing event of this year's Everything Is Festival in conjunction with Cinefamily. This stage has seen the likes of Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, and Ella Fitzgerald. Now add to that illustrious list the cast and crew of the greatest children's program of all time, 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete'. 'Pete & Pete' started airing on Nickeldodeon in 1989 in the form of 30-second interstitials. From there five half-hour shorts were created and later three seasons of the show ran from 1993-1996. The episodes managed to blend childhood's rites of passage with a healthy dose of surrealism. It is this combination of elements have helped the Brother's Pete keep their rabid fan base after all these years and why so many people came out for the cast reunion.
When my wife and I got to the theatre the line was already starting to form. We snapped a few photos and chatted with other fans in line while we all waited patiently for the doors to open. During our wait we even got temporary Petunia tattoos from Cinefamily volunteers!
As I write this Petunia still tenaciously clings to my forearm, albeit a little worse for the wear. Soon after the doors opened and we were allowed to flood into the theatre. We happily shelled out some money for a beautiful limited edition screen printed poster by Dimitri Simakis (I can't wait to get it in a frame by the way).
When we found our seats we were treated to a compilation of 'Pete & Pete' episodes. The stage decorations were evocative of the shows familiar intro. Complete with a lawn gnome and the infamous bowling ball Rolling Thunder!
The crowd filtered in and the theatre went dark. As long as you have Polaris in the house the only real way that you can open is with the shows iconic theme song, 'Hey Sandy'. At this point the crowd exploded in cheers. A smile crossed my face at this point that didn't really leave for the rest of the night. I could not believe that I was really there seeing the one and only live performance by Polaris. Truly a wonderful experience.
After that the cast and crew were introduced and the theatre went wild again. This was the largest gathering of the inhabitants of mythical Wellsville to date.
Co-creators Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb, Michael Maronna and Danny Tamberelli (the Petes), Toby Huss (Artie), Syd Straw (Miss Fingerwood), Alison Fanelli (Ellen), Director Kathrine Dieckmann, Rick Gomez (Endless Mike), Damian Young (Bus Driver Stu), Judy Grafe (Mom), and Hardy Rawls (Dad).
Since you can watch the panel in it's entirety in my previous post I won't go into a whole lot of detail about the content of the panel. I will say that every panelist seemed surprised and very grateful for the outpouring appreciation from the fans in the past few years. There were lots of anecdotes about what it was like to work together and see each other after such a long time. Will, Chris, and Katherine spoke a lot to the mission statement of the show and the difficulties involved therein. It was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. So please watch the videos if you have the time.
After the cast and crew panel wrapped up we were treated to a full set by Polaris. Syd Straw came out to perform her song, 'Water, Please'. As a finale Danny Tamberelli was brought back out to sing 'Summerbaby'. Syd Straw strolled out and joined in as well.
The entire panel came back out for one more bow.
And we met Mr. Tastee.
While writing 'Pete & Pete' Will and Chris have said that there were four core concepts that they tried to keep in mind; "Funny, sad, strange and beautiful." These were the elements that they always tried to incorporate into every episode. I think that this cuts straight to the heart of the show and is in a large part the reason why it still resonates. All four of those adjectives are essential elements of our experiences growing up. They are concepts that as adults we can still identify with. This is part of why the show still feels so fresh watching it all these years later. There is still something there that we can relate to. Obviously a lot of people are still deeply devoted to this show. This was the third reunion in the past year and they just keep getting bigger!
So, all that said, if you are still feeling nostalgic for more of 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete' please head over to 'Waiting for October' were you can find details on how to purchase a wonderful fanzine put together by the very nice Miles and Rachel. I got mine a while back and it is awesome.
Also! The shirts that my wife Marie and I are wearing in our photo with Mr. Tastee will soon be available for purchase through Zazzle. I had a few people ask me about these while we were at the show so I decided to open them up for anybody that wants one. I am just waiting for approval through the shop at this point. I will post a link as soon as I get the okay.
After such a great night I really do hope that there is yet another reunion down in LA. After all, next year will be the 20th anniversary of the series run. I'm looking at you Cinefamily.
*UPDATE* I just wanted to put up a link to the Zazzle shop on this post too just in case anyone is interested in buying a shirt.