Before the screening fun got underway, the previously unannounced special guests were, um, announced. They were Camden Toy (character actor who portrayed a lead Gentlemen, Gnarl, the Ubervamp and many others), James Leary (‘Clem’), Ben Edlund (writer & director of ‘Smile Time’), and David Fury (writer & producer of ‘Buffy’, ‘Angel’, ‘Lost’, and currently ’24’). Then everyone finally sat down and ‘Once More with Feeling’ got underway. Songs were sung, bubbles were blown, light sticks were waved. The special guests joined in with our singing, yelling at the screen and everything. Extra cheering was thrown in for David Fury’s appearances in both episodes.
There was an intermission in between the episodes in which our Emcee, Marsia, ordered all potty breaks be taken NOW. Although ‘Smile Time’ did not lend itself as well to the singing, true fans knew the words to the puppet song by heart and the episode never fails to deliver in dark snarky humor. Raucous yells of "Wee Little Puppet Man!" filled the air. At the end, there was a short "trailer" for the new comic book- ‘Spike: Shadow Puppets’, put together by our own Maria G. and seen nowhere else.
Following the screening, the drawing winners were announced. 12" Dolls, CDs, comic book series and a much coveted Puppet Angel, were handed out to our lucky winners. And despite our running over our allotted time, the theater manager and staff of the Laemmle’s One Colorado were very patient and tolerant, as we all, eventually, shuffled out into the damp night. We regrouped at Conrad’s later, the only place open for food and noshings at 3 in the am. Camden joined us, which we think is very brave of him, and needless to say, we closed out the restaurant, if it’s possible to close an Always Open place.
The evening had been an unqualified success, not just because everyone had a good time, and not a few took home cool prizes, but more than $3,500 was raised for the Elizabeth Grazer Pediatrics AIDS Foundation. As David Fury mentioned, a couple of times, it was really cool seeing the episodes again, as he had not seen them in a few years, with the bonus of being on a BIG screen and quadraphonic sound. But the capper of the evening, the four words we all wanted to hear: "We’ll do this again!"