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“Buffy” buffs pay homage to the vampire slayer

BY DEE FABBRICATORE | OCTOBER 01, 2009 7:20 AM

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mp3 sample: Megan Gogerty

"I Miss Buffy The Vampire Slayer"

A “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” tribute concert needs no introduction, but let’s give it one anyway.

After years of “Buffy” fandom, local playwright Megan Gogerty will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., will play host to Buffy Lives! A Buffy Tribute and Sing-a-long at 8 p.m. Saturday. Thanks to Daydream Comics, 21 S. Dubuque St., the event is free (with a $5 suggested donation).

The event features a special screening of the “Buffy” musical Once More With Feeling, plus a live performance from Gogerty and her Buffy Tribute Band, singing hits off her CD, I Miss Buffy!

“It’s the first time these songs will be performed live, and probably the last time, so I’m pretty psyched,” Gogerty said.

She recorded I Miss Buffy! in May 2008, then streamed the songs on MySpace. She pulled at the heart strings of “Buffy” devotees, and the response was wildly enthusiastic.

Englert development director Nancy Mayfield is responsible for setting this “Buffy” action in motion.

Mayfield admits she hasn’t always been a “Buffy” fan, but after watching just half of a “sword-fighting, drama, romance, and tragedy” episode, she was hooked.

“Because I work at the Englert, it was only a matter of time before I started daydreaming about a ‘Buffy’-theme event at the theatre,” Mayfield said. “The idea didn't really take shape until I bought Megan’s I Miss Buffy! tribute album while attending a performance of her one-woman show [Megan Gogerty Loves You Very Much].”

Beneath the surface of the ’90s high-school drama lies a surprisingly analytical underbelly. Gogerty has plenty to say to naysayers.

“There’s a reason ‘Buffy’ has a cult status,” she said. “There’s a reason there are ‘Buffy’ academic conferences and the show is loved by men, women, and teenagers. It’s so witty, and smart, and bold.”

She believes Angelina Jolie owes her successful career to “Buffy.”

“Before ‘Buffy’ … the idea that a woman could kick butt was weird,” Gogerty said. “That was an archetype that ‘Buffy’ creator Joss Whedon really pushed, and now there’s space in society for a butt-kicking female hero.”

A butt-kicking playwright/performer/songwriter/hero herself, she wants to make something else very clear to her audience — she isn’t a Sarah Michelle Gellar fan, she is strictly a “Buffy” fan.

“To me, the actors from ‘Buffy’ are like people you knew in high school whom you’re no longer in touch with, but you still root for them and wish them well,” Gogerty said.

For those who have not yet delved deep into “Buffy” Nation, she suggested squeezing in a couple episodes before Saturday. She believes new and old fans alike will be equally amused by Saturday’s show.

“There are a lot of inside jokes about ‘Buffy’ in [the show],” she said. “There’s a song called ‘The Legend of Mr. Gordo,’ which is Buffy’s stuffed pig, and he’s only mentioned twice in the entire series.

Only a die-hard fan would get that reference. But now that you know who Mr. Gordo is, you can start feeling the song.”

The concert will feature “Buffy” trivia and prizes for best costume. So only one question remains — what will the “Buffy” guru herself be wearing?

“I’m going to dress as Megan Gogerty,” she said. “But as Megan Gogerty in some leather pants.”


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