The Speakeasy is a theater in Oakland (there’s also one in El Cerrito) that recently started doing monthly Joss Whedon nights, alternating between Buffy and Firefly on the big screen. Last night was a Buffy night with a decent selection of episodes, so I went to check it out. Some observations:
- The musical episode “Once More With Feeling” is shown at every Buffy night. The audience is encouraged to sing along, and the subtitles are turned on to facilitate this.
- However, people don’t seem to be really comfortable singing along: at the start of each song some people would be singing enthusiastically, but this would fade away to a murmur after a few verses.
- Someone brought stuffed bunnies to throw in the air at the appropriate moment.
- The other two episodes are usually selected according to a theme; last night’s was a “double feature” double feature: “Dopplegangland” (twin Willows) and “The Replacement” (twin Xanders). The former is one of my favorites, but I’m not a huge fan of the latter and would have preferred (in the spirit of the theme) the late-season-5 episode “Intervention”.
- Character preferences were clear and fairly uniform: there was widespread cheering at the first appearance of Spike, while Dawn drew boos and hisses, and Riley’s extended bout of lameness at the end of “The Replacement” was drowned out by jeers.
- Next Buffy night is Halloween; the El Cerrito theater is showing “Fear, Itself” and “All the Way”, although I would prefer to see the second-season “Halloween” (Ethan Rayne!) in place of “All the Way”. The Parkway hasn’t announced its lineup yet (they’ve said it won’t necessarily be Halloween-themed). Anyway, I might be doing something else on Halloween but Buffy night at the Speakeasy was a lot of fun, and definitely worth doing again.