Word spread around the Buffy community in Boston that the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline would be holding a free showing of "Once More with Feeling," the so-called "Buffy musical," on Friday night at midnight. We assembled the troops and headed over, first driving down with Bob from a party in Somerville, then picking up Chris in Harvard Square in our BMW Zipcar/Buffymobile.
Bob, Chris, and I were all for getting straight in line, behind the somewhat odd party who was first. We would have been, then, the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth people on line. Robert did not want this (admittedly dubious) honor, and he'd been up since 4:00 in the morning, unable to sleep, and now was very tired and very cold. So, instead of lining up, we went across the street to J.P. Licks. There, we waited on line for ice cream, and then we stood in the middle of the restaurant eating our ice cream and waiting for a place to sit down. Bob and Chris were talking statistical programs, Robert was looking nervous and tired, and I was trying to watch to see who would get up first. Chris and I digressed about the couple with a young child who seemed content to let the child sit, stand, and even walk on the table. Bob shook his head in horror. We were all somewhat distracted, then, when the table behind the frightening child suddenly got up and left. Robert was on the ball, though--he leapt, literally, over to the table, managing to throw his body into the booth, and his ice cream and his cups of water, onto the table, in front of--and slightly on top of--a skinny teenage boy. The boy had been standing on line to order his ice cream with a few friends--they didn't even have ice cream in their hands, and they clearly didn't have as much of a moral right to the table as we did. Chris, Bob, and I were somewhat startled to wake up and see Robert flinging water at the boy, and the boy (quite moist) backing away toward his friends. I scooted into the booth to help claim it, while Chris helped wipe the table dry. Robert shook water off from his head and arms, and meanwhile the boy and his friends stared at us. At first, intimidatable nerds that we four are, we thought they were glowering at us in anger, but Bob eventually put his finger on it: "They're scared of you, Robert," he said. "Look at them--they're scared!" We looked, and sure enough, the teenagers were giving us "keep clear of the crazy man" looks, terrified to get near us. The couple with the child behind us, now all but forgotten, suddenly turned to us and supportively said that we really had a right to the booth. No one was actually eating their ice cream, and though Chris, Robert, and I all half wanted to laugh, no one actually did. The couple and their kid left, still supportive, and their booth remained empty and the teenagers remained standing on line. "Hey," Bob called to them, "Hey, there's a table over here!" Their "these people are crazy menaces to society" looks only deepened. "Over here!" Bob yelled now. "Yes, I'm talking to you--I'm trying to be nice--there's a table!" At some point, even Bob realized that his efforts weren't going to work. The teenagers, still not having placed their order, turned and bolted out of the shop, and we realized we were in the role of the bully--uncharacteristically so. "Well, I'm gonna get a cup of coffee," Robert said, going back up to the counter. We shook our heads to displace the surreal moment. Back to reality--er, back to Buffy.
Finally, after the coffee and the ice cream, around 11:00, when Chris's vampire teeth were in (he talked funny now) and his blood was fully applied and my wig was groomed and my stake was at the ready, we walked back across the street to the theatre. This time, after picking up our tickets at the box office, we joined the other 100 or so people already on line. Robert thought this was a respectable place, although he kept wondering aloud that it was quite so packed. It's no secret that I've always been more of a Buffy fan than Robert, I guess. On line, we clutched our tickets, and we debated whether or not to splurge on the $6 goody bags, which contained kazoos, vampire teeth, bubbles, and other exciting props to use during the show (we decided against it, but they ended up giving out extra kazoos and bubbles for free, anyway). On line, we stood happily behind a man who was carrying a dry-cleaned Cardinals shirt in honor of the upcoming World Series and the "They Got the Mustard Out" song. "Ooh, I wish I'd thought to bring dry-cleaning!" one of a group of women in front of the dry-cleaning man gushed. She settled for giving us off-key previews of some of the slower songs. On line, we shivered, and we posed for pictures, both still and action shots, as you can see below.
After waiting for a little while, we were joined by Debbie and Canadian Chris (visiting for the weekend), and then around 12:15 we all made it into the theatre and sat down, about 10 rows back on the right-hand side, aisle, in very good seats. Below you see a closeup of Chris with his earmuffs on, because it was cold waiting on line, even for a vampire, and then Debbie and her Chris snuggling.
The show was amazing: nearly everyone in the theatre knew the words, and the energy and Buffy fandom--not to mention the sometimes honed, sometimes spontaneous comments that were yelled at the screen--really added to our enjoyment. Actually, despite the women on line ahead of us, no one in the theatre was noticeably off-key. So, along with everyone else, we yelled "Shut up, Dawn!" whenever she entered a scene, we blew bubbles at Willow and Tara's love scene, and we hummed along on the kazoos when Buffy sang her whiney lines in "Life's a Show" near the end. None of us did the dance in the aisles thing, though, because we're all too repressed for that, but we still had a great time. When the MC announced that they were going to do this again in the spring, vampire Chris--who had never even seen an episode of Buffy before this--turned to me and said, "Can we come to that, too?" Oh yes, oh yes--we'll be there. We might skip the bullying in the ice cream parlor before, though. . . .
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Created: 10/24/04. Last Modified: 10/28/04.