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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

’Buffy the Musical’ stakes its claim in L.A.

Wednesday 27 June 2007, by Webmaster

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has always had a problem with stuff staying dead.

The TV series, whose last episode aired in May 2003, is still drawing crowds to the big screen. No, not for the campy 1992 movie version, but for the critically lauded television show — specifically, the musical episode entitled ’Once more … with feeling.’

The Buffy Musical Big Screen Extravaganza – which screens the episode in movie theaters — is expanding the Buffyverse with a national tour, and will hit L.A. as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival on Wednesday.

The screenings started in Boston in 2004, then became the resident sing-a-long at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. It has been projected on a movie screen in New York for the past few years at the IFC Center, which, incidentally, is where "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" originated.

Like that cult hit, the screenings incorporate props, crowd interaction and, whenever possible, a live cast — The Uncool Kids – acting out scenes. The show’s program creator and booker, Clinton McClung, was a theater manager and fan who saw a need, and struck.

"I decided to screen the episode instead of the original Buffy movie in our midnight series because I loved it so much … I thought maybe a few Buffy fans would come out and it would be like a little party or something, but to our surprise 600 rabid fans showed up to that first show."

The screenings grew in popularity, prompting the creation of a MySpace page. Whedonites (fans of show creator Joss Whedon) flocked to the page wondering if/when the show would ever play in their town, and the seeds were planted for a touring Buffypalooza.

"I am hoping the tour will prove successful enough in certain cities that the show can come back on a regular basis and people can form their own casts," McClung says.

None of the TV series’ real cast has officially come by to view the screenings, according to McClung, but they’re aware of it. MTV captured a screening and some of the cast’s reactions to the phenomena earlier this year. Whedon’s trademark sarcasm could not hide his pride.

"I’ve come down against it. I think it’s wrong. Ummm, what can I think? I think it’s the best thing ever!"

Amber Benson, who played Tara on the show, recalled that it was an exciting time when the musical was unearthed.

"Doing the musical was way more intense than doing a typical episode of ’Buffy.’ We did so many second-unit days to complete the episode, it was insane."

Benson, whom Whedon has said was one of the best singers on the set, also recalled that her brand of grace made filming the episode a "hard-core celebration!"

"I danced into a pole. That was ... interesting.," she said. "And then they used the take in the episode. That was ... embarrassing."

The show’s L.A. Film Festival screening has sold out, proof that it remains popular long after it had been staked. Sometimes the dead continue to entertain us.

1 Message

  • ’Buffy the Musical’ stakes its claim in L.A.

    13 October 2007 15:28, by John vonSmuda-Triebekowski
    Nothing like killing a franchise than to make your fans mad, huh, Fox? I remember when the internet first really really took off. There were thousands of Star Trek fan sites. For some insane reason, Paramont, draconianily demanded all these sites be shut down or else! There were a few die hards who refused to budge and I am sure that today the once Star Trek fans who ran those sites probably detest Star Trek with every fiber of their body thanks to Paramont Lawyers. Now Paramont, UPN, Activision all wonder...gee where are all the Star Trek fans? Why didn’t they watch our show? Why didn’t they buy our games? DUH!!!!!!!!!!!! The point is...when you stop your fans from creating and loving and experience the pure joy they get from their expression of fandom, you are going to loose fans! So, Fox, instead of canceling all these showings...find a way to expand them or at least keep showing the ones that were showing.