Deep Inside Hollywood: Pee Wee Returns

By Romeo San Vicente

Drew Barrymore is off to see the wizard

Once upon a time in a land called Hollywood, all the way back in the olden days of 2002, Drew Barrymore was set to play the lead role in "Surrender Dorothy," a sequel to "The Wizard of Oz." Well now it's eight years later and the starlet is now a director who might just take over the whole project. Barrymore, whose sweet, funny, underrated directorial debut, "Whip It," went almost unnoticed at the box office last year, looks like the person who'll helm the journey back to the yellow brick road. In this story, Dorothy's great, great granddaughter must use the power of the ruby slippers to prevent the Wicked Witch of the West (who, frankly, needs a boost of badness after her all that sympathy generated by a certain emotional Broadway musical) from taking over both Oz and the outside world. But the question is will Barrymore still play the lead? Or will she pass the privilege down to someone not yet in their 30s? And will someone please give Fairuza Balk a shot at one of the roles? It's only right.

Who will scream for 'Scream 4'?

They're finally casting "Scream 4" in the hopes of a planned July start date and, really, it was about time. What's taking so long? Well, the script is on lockdown and agencies aren't even getting copies to show their clients, which slows down the process. (But think about it, the fourth installment of its parody cousin, "Scary Movie 4," came out "years" ago.) This next go-round will reunite creators Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, as well as original cast members Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox. And so far the new faces tentatively on board (negotiations, they keep happening) are Lake Bell, "Twilight" alum Ashley Greene, Rory Culkin and Hayden Panettiere. Who'll be stabbed first? And do they get paid less?

Pee-wee Herman's new Playhouse is on Broadway

For a limited six-week run starting October 26, New York's Stephen Sondheim Theater (formerly the Henry Miller Theater) will become a playhouse. Pee-wee's Playhouse to be specific. That's because

"The Pee-Wee Herman Show," the original stage production created by Paul Reubens, based on the character he created with L.A.'s Groundlings three decades ago, is coming to Broadway. And why not? The sugar-powered man-child Pee-wee has been beloved by everyone from hipsters to children for 30 years and has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to Los Angeles performances of the show. He's an institution by this point and Broadway can only be made brighter by his presence. No human casting has taken place yet, but there will be puppetry by "Addams Family" string-puller Basil Twist and yes, Chairy and Conky will co-star. Romeo loves this news so much he wants to marry it.

Gay stuff on TV: The Update

No amount of "Newsweek" op/ed negativity can keep Sean Hayes down. The man accused by a columnist for that magazine of being too gay to play straight in Broadway's "Promises, Promises," is, it turns out, not too gay to host the Tony Awards, which he will be doing come June 13. And we can all breathe a sigh of relief that gay co-star of "Glee," Jonathan Groff, was not so unconvincingly hetero on camera that he sank the entire show - it's been picked up for a third season before season two even starts shooting. How's that for a vote of homo confidence? And finally, un-gay Paula Abdul, who convincingly played a singer on eight seasons of "American Idol," is moving into a new judge's chair, this time on the CBS show "Got To Dance," where the choreographer will help prop up the hopes and dreams of a variety of aspiring dancers hoping to make it big with their feet, eventually getting cast on that very straight show called "Glee" or in totally heterosexual Broadway musicals.

Romeo San Vicente is the greatest dancer that you've ever seen. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.

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