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The Pee-wee Herman Show - Broadway

The Saturday morning TV icon comes to the Broadway stage!

Jesse Garcia on Making His Big Broadway Entrance in The Pee-wee Herman Show

Jesse Garcia on Making His Big Broadway Entrance in The Pee-wee Herman Show
Jesse Garcia photographed by Jenny Anderson for & styled by Lauren Oppelt
I wanted to prove to the fans that I’m a Playhouse person.

Age & Hometown: “Old enough.” Rawlins, Wyoming.

Currently: Making his Broadway debut as the Playhouse’s Internet savvy electrician Sergio in The Pee-wee Herman Show.

Opening Doors: Before joining Pee-wee’s onstage world in a character created especially for this production, Garcia had built a busy career in independent films, including an award-winning role in the 2006 Sundance Festival hit Quinceanera. It was the first of five projects in which he played characters named “Carlos,” including the forthcoming movie Three Veils and episodes of The Closer, ER and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. “When I started acting, I had this huge goal of becoming successful enough to open doors for other young Latino actors and filmmakers,” Garcia says. “I want to have my own production company with a few friends, kind of the way Adam Sandler does.”

Dancing Shoes: Sergio doesn’t get the entrance applause of familiar Playhouse characters like Miss Yvonne and Cowboy Curtis, but Garcia wins the audience over the minute he breaks into Pee-wee’s signature “Tequila Dance” alongside star Paul Reubens. “I didn’t realize what a big deal it was until people started freaking out,” Garcia says of his high-energy hoofing. “It’s awesome, because I wanted to prove to fans that I’m a Playhouse person.” The young actor admits that working with a star he grew up watching on TV was an out-of-body experience at first. “The second day of rehearsal, I went, ‘Holy crap, I’m doing a scene with Pee-wee Herman!’ He’s a comic genius. It’s just fun to see how his mind works.”

Giving Back: While developing short films to produce and direct, Garcia has joined with his buddies to shoot an anti-violence PSA campaign called DBAC (Don’t Be a Chicken). “It has to do with partner abuse, peer pressure, gun violence, drinking and driving—we’re trying to make it viral,” he says. So, how do the videos, which present a man in a giant chicken suit shooting off guns, sway troubled youth? “It’s a humorous way of looking at these things while still getting the point across.” For Garcia, who admits he didn't expect to find himself on stage, Broadway is an exciting step in a varied career. “I grew up in Wyoming, where people don’t really dream big,” he says with a laugh. “I’m having a blast.”

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