September 23rd, 2007


And You Can Sing Along

The weekend continued to be full of adventure, as I attended ariiadne's birthday meatsmoking and met some cool new people. But the big event of the night was to be afterward, as I picked up danea and ellric and headed toward the Bridge Theatre for the "Once More with Feeling" Singalong.

If you are completely unfamiliar with this phenomenon, think of it as Rocky Horror meets Buffy. The audience has props to be used at specific moments. A costumed cast acts out the songs on the stage in front of the screen. And everyone, of course, sings along.

Lisa, Rick, and I got to the theatre a little after 10:30, and the line was already forming. Near the beginning were gymble and her husband. To their left were an Indian girl and guy. The girl said, "I know you," and I replied, "Er, no you don't." She introduced herself to Lisa and Rick as Anita and identified the guy as her cousin. I walked to the box office to pick up tickets.

I had never seen this girl in my entire life. I tried to think whether she was some relative I'd met before or maybe some girl I'd met at a wedding or something. I decided that she was some strange girl preying on my Indianness and pretending to know me for fun. Still, she freaked me out.

gymble asked if I had change (I had bought their tickets for them), and I said I actually did have a bunch of ones.

"Why do you have a lot of ones?" asked the crazy Indian girl. I ignored her and tried not to make eye contact.

Then gymble and I had a discussion about the fact that I thought we had agreed to carpool, but she claimed that there was no definite plan, only a suggestion.

"I saw that e-mail exchange!" added the crazy Indian girl, maddeningly, as I now knew she was lying through her teeth for the sheer ridiculousness of it. I tried to play along, saying to her that I had never received a reply to my e-mail.

About that time, beeker121 poked me from behind, so I turned around and gave her a hug. We talked a bit and as I was looking at her, I went through the list in my mind of who had yet to show up. I mentally checked everyone off, until the only person who was left was rowanceleste...

At which point I felt like a fucking idiot.

In my defense, I don't think of her by her real name, I've never seen a picture of her, I thought she was coming alone, and I don't have the ability to check my e-mail WITH MY MIND (she sent an e-mail at 10:30 about her and her cousin being the only Sri Lankans in line). In her defense...I'm a moron.

So, my idiocy behind us, we proceeded to wait in line for the sold-out show. Clinton McClung, the brainchild behind the production, came out and handed out goodie bags and instruction on what to do when and when to use what. The doors opened around 11:30, and we went inside and procured a block of seats a little front of center. Getting the early has its advantages.

I needed water to prepare my throat, so I went out to the concession area. I heard a woman asking if they had a "Talent Discount," for the actors. Sadly, there was not. I asked if we were going to be seeing her on stage. She was playing Tara. "Hence the flowy skirt," I noted.

Back in my seat, we watched the pre-pre-show entertainment, which was the DVD menu for the pre-show. There was a scroll of images. A couple were from the musical (one from the filming). One looked to be Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance (the scary one). There was a random old man that I rightly concluded had to be David Brinkley ("Will I get so worn and wrinkly / That I look like David Brinkley?"). And there was a comic panel that Rebecca helpfully identified as from Season 8. It was funny to listen to the audience trying to figure out the significance of some of the images, especially David Brinkley.

A couple seats away from me was an excessively pierced guy who hilariously asked, "Excuse me? Can someone show me how to use a kazoo?" He had the wrong end in his mouth.

Finally, a little after midnight, it was time to start the pre-show entertainment. First, they showed the little MTV News piece on the production. Then they showed some fanvids, including a great one to "Coin-Operated Boy" that Rebecca, excessively pierced guy, and I were singing along to. The last part was Buffy trivia, complete with clips from the show...and various other work by the actors. I don't want to spoil some of the more hilarious surprises. That was all a lot of fun.

Next up was Buffy-oke. Clinton explained that they were going to play a scene and have two of us say the lines. The scene would be the Buffy/Angelus scene from "Innocence" (where he's a total dick to her post-sex). He asked for a volunteer to be Buffy, and a hand shot up in front of me. The girl went up to the stage. Then he asked for a volunteer to be Angel, and, predictably, all of my companions were telling me to volunteer, but sometimes I am shy about these things.

Except no one in the audience raised his hand. Clinton asked again, saying he needed a volunteer; he wasn't going to just pick someone. He added that he had a special prize that you could only get here, and I'm a sucker for special exclusive things on novelty value alone, so I gave in to my desire to be the center of attention except when I don't want to be the center of attention. I handed Rebecca my camera as I tried to get to the aisle.

Clinton asked the girl her name and what her first episode was ("Graduation Day, Part 2"). Then he asked me my name and, having heard it, he said, "I'm not going to try to say that one." Which, dude, it's two fucking syllables. Soo. Neel. It's not that hard. He asked me if I had a favorite character, and since he didn't want a big long essay or want me to stand there pondering for half an hour about who my favorite character truly was, I just said, "Xander." He said this was an Angel scene, there was no Xander, and I said I liked Angel too. I wished he'd asked me what my first episode was so I could say "Witch" and be all cool for having been watching since the third episode.

Thankfully, he allowed us to watch the scene with the subtitles on first to refresh our memories on the dialogue. I watched and reviewed Angel's dialogue, paying little attention to Buffy's, which my co-star seemed to know fairly well already, anticipating a few lines. I thought about how to play the lines, to be dickish but not boring. I decided throwing in a double thumbs-up on "I thought you were a pro" would be good. I contemplated taking off my shirt for authenticity. When the clip ended, Clinton pointed out Buffy's sad, sad, crushed face.

The two of us took the stage again. Clinton came on and said, "You know, having a girl play Buffy is just so boring. So how about you play Buffy, and you play Angel." And he threw me a blonde wig.

Weeeeeeell, fuck.

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