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December 01 2006

Sing Along with Buffy. A look at the emerging phenomenon of Buffy sing-alongs. Apparently OMWF could be the next Rocky Horror.

For any Yinzers in the audience, there's another one in Pittsburgh tonight.

I understand it's already a stage play in several parts of the world. One of these days, I'll catch one and be blessed in bliss.

Again Joss, thanks for the entertainment!
Heh. There's a light (over at that Magic Box place).
Oh I just adore this idea! I just wish that one day someone will stage a version in the UK. I'd be there in a heartbeat.
Hmm. Gotta say, I reject the comparison as inapplicable.

RHPS was and is dreadfully stupid, in a self-deprecating and mockumentary way. It was more akin to Spinal Tap than any real horror or sci-fi. It was MST3K'ed before MST3K existed, and the campy fun that went along with the campy movie turned into a social phenomenon. Who else here remembers when the only way you could get RHPS was a bootleg VHS tape with Japanese subtitles? Before the home theater experience, before the Internet, RHPS was an underground, spreading social phenomenon.

Buffy, on the other hand, brought people together to cherish the characters and their angst, to curse Joss, to weep at his callousness, to laugh at his jokes, and, ultimately, to turn in next week to see what was in store. The community didn't create itself, except after it was drawn to Joss' work.

OMWF was the best and brightest of a set of season-defining episodes that broke all the rules and all the molds, following Hush and The Body. It was the Pinnacle of Joss's achievement, because, hey, who knew that a guy who could do characters and dialogue, could do lyrics and chords, too?!

RHPS is self-sustained by the mockery. OMWF sing-a-longs are emerging as a replacement for new Joss Buffyverse material among a group of fans who come for their own reasons, but perhaps most prevalent of them to relive the catharsis that each week of Jossness presented, by the shared act singing his first and greatest musical with others so affected.
a great Boston street mag, Whats Up Magazine covered this awhile back. it's a fab indy mag. worth checking out.

[ edited by Miss Kitty Fantastico on 2006-12-02 01:37 ]
Apparently OMWF could be the next Rocky Horror.


I've been saying that for years.
I'm going to my second Buffy Sing-a-Long tonight! I'm dressed as Anya! lol I would LOVE to do a stage version though...that would rock!
I really enjoyed this article. Very postive. I can't wait for one of these to happen in the L.A. area.

But Jclemens, I have to disagree with this:

"RHPS was and is dreadfully stupid, in a self-deprecating and mockumentary way. It was more akin to Spinal Tap than any real horror or sci-fi."

I don't think that it would have had the success it has had for decades if that were true. The songs, the casting, the humor, all excellent. It was a niche movie no doubt, but it filled it very well.

And Spinal Tap? Sheer brilliance.
I'm waiting for that LA-area singalong, too. So are my brothers and my daughter and my sister-in-law and...It's going to be crowded when it happens!
We had a sing-a-long here in Vancouver at Hallowe'en. Good fun had by all. They showed Hallowe'en, Hush and finally OMWF - and people were belting it out...well, at least me and the people I went with were, we couldn't hear anyone else over us :)
Lets not mock "RHPS", it has a taste of its own. Yes, it's kinda' strange to compare these two classics together, but I love discussing them. I'm just tickled pink that "WMWF" is in the same category. Sorry, I'll stop now.

kballgetlost, are you wearing the green outfit?
Woohoo! I won for best costume! I wore the outfit Anya wears during her bunnies song...complete with glued on butterfly that I printed out, lol...I only had two hours to prepare so I had to be creative! But I won the Buffy RPG book! It was a great time! Everybody singing and dancing (yes some of us danced along with Anya and Xander!) Now I must sleep!
kballgetlost -

Hee! I loved your costume! I was the gal at the table in front of you who announced the commercial breaks. It was a lot of fun, I hope the CLO does this again!
Ahh, congrats kballgetlost! If anyone caught some pictures, please share over in our frickr.

So, the white outfit. Anya always seemed best in green. Just thinking out loud.
If we could have a sing-along in L.A., where? I can't think of anywhere like the Alamo Drafthouse.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2006-12-02 09:37 ]
I don't know to what extent others have experienced this but I'd like to get something off my chest. I attented the first singalong here and while we had a good time during it, in retrospect it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. The reason why is our host encouraged anti-Dawn invective and the audience was all too happy to deliver. In my opinion, it got out of hand.

It wasn't just a matter of simply shouting "Shut up, Dawn" whenever she appeared on screen but continous put-downs of "Bitch", "Slut", "Whore", etc. It was pretty relentless whenever there was a shot of her. If Joss or Michelle Trachtenberg had witnessed this, I wonder how funny they would have found it. Maybe I'm being hypersensitive but I thought it was just too much and it's discouraged me from attending another one.
I would feel uncomfortable if that was happening at a screening I went too. No call for that sort of thing.
dreamlogic, I'm sure it's completely impractical and unrealistic of me to suggest this, but I'm such a fan of the Orpheum downtown, and "Waiting in the Wings" was at least partially shot there, so I'd love to see a OMWF singalong there.

Although I would absolutely loathe it if any anti-Dawm display like the one described by batmarlowe occurred -- how rancid is that? The very definition of not cool...
I agree. When I attend a screen play, there's nothing worst than an a**hole to ruin the works. There's one in every basket. That's when a good usher should intervene. Sorry, thinking out loud again. Should find a muzzle for my brain.

Hmm, a "Waiting in the Wings" play? I'm so there!
MBangel10 - that was you?? lol fun! Glad you like my costume! I had a ton of fun!

As for the anti-Dawn stuff...that's been pretty much a given at both of the Sing-a-Long's I've attended. Everytime Dawn comes on screen you are supposed to yell "Shut up Dawn!" For the most part it doesn't get out of hand. But there's always one that takes some liberty with their invectives....
Why the Dawn hate? Who doesn't admit that "I gave birth to a pterodactyl" is the best line in the show?
A lot of people found Dawn annoying or just thought creating her
was a wrong turn for the show and so she could do no right, ever.

I'll admit I mute the sound whenever I'm about to hear "shut up, Shut Up, SHUT UP!" And if the "scripted" audience response was simply "Shut up Dawn", whenever she spoke and that was that, I probably would have done that myself. Just like you boo whenever the narrator shows up in Rocky Horror.

But to be sure this wasn't just one person; this was a majority of the audience and as I said, it was encouraged by the host.

Just makes me glad Riley and Kennedy weren't in OMWF.
I have no positive comment whatsoever on this discussion, with the exception that I wish I could find that old video of Tony Head and Amber Benson all prettied up and performing Toucha-Touch Me.

Oh, wait. Here it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZGNY9WJqAs&mode=related&search=

[ edited by NekoDono on 2006-12-02 19:48 ]
The Orpheum seems high-rent and also large for such an event. I would think it would be expensive and have to sell a lot of tickets. I did think later that Cinespace, where the High Stakes 2004 party was, might be a possibility. But I haven't been there since High Stakes, and judging from the outside, it seems to have become more upscale since then. As little as I get out, I'm really no expert on venues. Somebody savvy weigh in, please. I'd like to see one of these happen here.

Though, not if people are going to be slamming Dawn throughout. I've become especially sensitive to that since that survey told me I'm a Dawn.
NekoDono, thank you!! I had never seen that!

I would *love* to go to a OMWF sing along!! batmarlowe - how awful! No need for the Dawn hatred at one of these things. I say get on your own blog and rant.
Ha! Thanks for that NekoDono.
Thanks for the sentiment, Harm, but this site and you guys are just fine with me.
At the first sing-along that I attended in Vancouver last year, we were encouraged to yell "Shut up, Dawn", which bothered me - and there were some people who took it a bit farther, similar to batmarlowe's experience. At the sing-along this year, no one made any announcements, but the audience not only were very vocal about Dawn, but since we watched "Hush" as well, there were some remarks shouted at Riley. They made me very uncomfortable and tainted my enjoyment of watching one of my favourite episodes with a large group of fans. I understand that for some people it is part of the experience but not only do I not have a problem with either of the characters, but I find it rude - not just to members of the audience who don't have Dawn-hate issues, but to the actors and writers. Of course, I'm not into booing at hockey games, either!

I think it may make me think twice about going again.
I know this has been addressed before but whenever I read comments (on other boards mostly) from people who "hate Dawn because she's so whiney" they almost always take this as the fault of the actress. Do they not realise that Dawn was written that way and that them finding her so annoying and believable is actually proof of how good Michelle Trachtenberg is?

If Dawn was written as a cute poppet who allways had a smile on her face those same people would no doubt be complaining that the show had jumped the shark by bringing a stereotype cute kid on board.

And, on topic, I thought her duet with Sweet was great.
I've been to a sing-along-sound-of-music. We booed the nazis and that was fine. Too bad OMWF doesn't have such clearcut enemy. After all, Sweet is kind of...sweet. And oh, I'd love to attend.

eta: Thanks for the link!!!

[ edited by Karenina on 2006-12-03 00:57 ]
I went to a Rocky Horror singalong in late 1976 in Boston in a little theatre across from the Sheraton Boston. I had the most fun ever and raved like a loon about the experience. People were forced more than once to tell me to shut up about it, already.

I went to another one in in a much larger theatre -- the then- "Exeter", I think, in oh, I dunno, 1979 or 1980, and found the experience utterly repulsive, hateful, mean and poor-spirited.

Just a handful of people can change something like this from a fun-filled frolic to something that feels like yucky crowd-think...
Hmm. Given the other comments, maybe I'm quite off base in insisting on a difference between RHPS viewings and OMWF sing-a-longs. Perhaps the latter are no more than a base copy of the former's irreverent revelry. Disappointing, really, since I think OMWF is something so much better than RHPS ever dreamed of being.

One clarification, however, since it appears I wasn't clear: RHPS is stupid in the same way Spinal Tap is--a self-deprecating, intentional way. There are plenty of horror movies that are stupid in that they aim for serious fright and end up in campy gorefest instead--RHPS isn't one of those, obviously.
Sigh. I'm pretty sure the first EVER singalong was in 2002, not 2004, and it was in the PBP suite, and I have a video of it. I was puffy Anya (as opposed to normal Anya, who is always played by Emma Caulfield). I have a cast list here, but the photo link seems not to work anymore. Sad. It was a lot of fun.

ETA: I got the photo album! It's here.

[ edited by Kiba on 2006-12-03 08:29 ]
zz9, so good to hear from you, my friend. As always, wandering around. Please take care!
I'd love to go to one of these events if it was in the UK, but I might be put off by the continual Dawn abuse. It would be OK to shout "Shut up, Dawn" once, in a scene where she's particularly whiney (though I don't think there's any such scene in OMWF). But to shout it every time she appears seems pointless, nasty and annoying to members of the audience who actually like the character, of whom I'm sure there are many. I'd be tempted to respond to every "Shut up, Dawn" with a shout of "I love Dawn".
Kiba - I identified a few Buffistas from that - thanks!
Yeah, the anti-Dawn shoutouts would seriously bother me, too. Especially since I felt that the character was completely redeemed in the seventh season. She was one of the strongest characters in that season, though Michelle was wonderful throughout her three-season run.

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