Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer who were hoping to catch the season six musical episode "Once More, With Feeling" at the Tivoli this weekend still have a couple of days to load up their Netflix queues and organize viewing parties at home. That's right, Scoobies: The much-anticipated Tivoli midnight showing has been canceled.
Landmark Theatres, which owns the Tivoli, got the news from its distributor yesterday morning that, for unspecified legal reasons, Twentieth Century Fox Television has decided to pull all theatrical releases of its shows, including Buffy, says Laura Resnick, Landmark's senior regional marketing manager. Landmark will refund all presale tickets, plus Moviefone service charges, and offer a free showing of the film Serenity, directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon. Refunds to credit cards should happen automatically; all others can take their tickets to the Tivoli box office.
"It's a terrible situation," Resnick says. "We've sold 500 tickets on the Landmark Web site so far. The worst part is disappointing people."
Fox's legal department did not respond to phone calls from either Landmark or RFT. Organizers of the Buffy musical have started an online petition to bring the show back.
"Once More, With Feeling" originally aired in 2001 and features a tap-dancing demon that forces residents of the Buffyverse to burst out in song until they explode. The Slayer and friends, naturally, must vanquish the demon, but not before singing their deepest secrets and performing embarrassing dance moves. The Buffy musical first appeared in theaters in 2004 and, not surprisingly, became a cult event. Audiences appeared dressed in costume, acted out their favorite Buffy moments and sang along with the help of subtitles.
Fox's decision to pull the theatrical release is even more puzzling, Resnick says, considering that the show had been playing across the country all summer, most recently last weekend in San Diego. "We thought they'd let it go this weekend," she adds.
The Tivoli's management, which had been advertising the event on the theater's marquee for the past two weeks, quickly pulled the letters down yesterday morning and posted cancellation notices on the windows of the box office. Resnick requested that disappointed fans refrain from heaping abuse upon the Tivoli's staff. "There's nothing we can do," she says. "No matter whose fault it is, people are going to blame us."
What to know more about "Once More, With Feeling"? Here is a behind-the-scenes look on the making of the musical: