Bloor West Buffy @ Bad Dog Theatre

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Photo Credit: Brian Edwards

“I’ve got a theory…” Songbuster: An Improvised Musical will be back with another sing-a-long next Halloween!

The overwhelming success of Songbuster’s Buffy Live Reading and Sing-along on October 31st (two sold-out back-to-back performances at Bloor West’s Bad Dog Theatre) is a clear message to producer Kyah Green that we like what Songbuster is doing and we want to see more. Dotting all of the “I’s” this brand of improv theatre is innovative, immersive, and intimate – proof positive that a fresh idea, stellar cast, great songs and an enthusiastic audience are the key elements required to unleash a few “kumbaya-yas”.

Of course, add-in the ever-popular Joss Whedon incarnation of bad-ass valley-girl vampire slayer Buffy Summers and seats are destined to be filled. When Toronto’s Bloor Cinema debuted “Once More With Feeling” as a shadow cast performance during the Fringe Festival in 2009 tickets sold out very quickly, with long lines of disappointed fans hoping to buy on the spot turned away at the door.

Series fans have long-recognized the brilliance of the critically acclaimed musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s sixth season, “Once More With Feeling”. The plot is fun, the score is full of earworms that truly stick with the audience and the requisite dark comedic elements that punctuate the television series is in top form during the episode. To say that “Once More With Feeling” is the perfect selection for a Halloween sing-along event – may actually be a gross understatement.

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Kyah Green as Spike – Photo Credit: Brian Edwards

The cast did not disappoint, with perfect comedic timing, a few surprises (Dawn can’t sing?!) tossed in and copious amounts of charisma on lock (not of the Carpenter variety – in case you just went there). Kyah Green was every bit the smarmy rockstar that her character, Spike embodies – you can catch her regularly on stage at the BDT in The LOL Word, Kinsey Fail and The Party Show every month. Songbuster creator and producer Stephanie Malek’s Anya, hit all of the former revenge demon’s comedic marks (note: you can see her perform regularly at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Connor Bradbury’s “toe-tapping” demon, Sweet, was a definite highlight as he “rat-a-tat-tatted” across the stage during his big musical number “What You Feel”. The multi-talented Jenna Warriner (Girl’s End: A Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Ca$hMob), was on fire in her role as Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy. Rounding out the Scoobies and cast; Seann Murray (narrator), Liz Johnston (Willow), Kaitlin Morrow (Tara), Ian MacIntyre (Xander), Will Lamond (Giles), Kirsten Rasmussen (Dawn), and Emily Richardson credited as “aka everyone else”.

Social media has been heating up with positive reviews and a lot of requests for another show next year, so follow the theatre and watch for announcements regarding a 2018 Halloween event. In the meantime, get your “improv musical fix” with Songbusters as they “make up musicals” every month at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre.

 

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