buffymusical.com - Buffy the Musical "Once More, With Feeling"

Episode #107
Analysis of the musical
Soundtrack CD
Lyrics / Synopsis

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The cast of Buffy season 6 were not simply the performers of Once More, With Feeling; they actually shaped the musical. Joss Whedon tailored the musical to each actor's talents, preferences and vocal range. The cast spent months leading up to the filming learning the songs and dances, squeezing in time between filming the earlier episodes of season 6.


Buffy Summers

Best known as Buffy, Sarah has actually been acting since she was discovered in a restaurant at the age of 4, even winning an Emmy for her role in the TV series All My Children. Her movies include I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions and Scoobie Doo.

Sarah had never sung before, and initially wanted a voice double to sing her songs for the episode, but after hearing the demo of the songs she changed her mind: "I basically started to cry and said, 'You mean someone else is going to do my big emotional turning point for the season?'''

Xander Harris

Nicholas's hope of a pro baseball career was cut short by an arm injury and, partly to help overcome a stuttering problem, he tried his hand at acting. He appeared in commercials and guest-starred on TV series including Married... with Children and Dave's World before taking a long break from acting. Soon after coming back to it, he landed the role of Xander.

Nicholas had also never sung before, but had no hesitation jumping in head first. He told Joss: "Well, I've never sung a note, but I'll do whatever you like."

Anya Jenkins

Emma studied drama extensively from the time she was in high school, winning the honor of "Excellence in Theater Arts" at the renowned Old Globe Theatre. Her big TV break came when she landed a role on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1995.

Anya's explosion into Bunnies was actually inspired by Emma. "Emma herself occasionally breaks into heavy metal screaming for no reason," explained Joss, "She'd just do this on stage sometimes to crack me up. So I knew I was going to write her a little heavy metal rock opera moment..."

Dawn Summers

Michelle has been acting since the age of 3, appearing in commercials, TV shows and movies including Harriet the Spy and Inspector Gadget. She appeared alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar in All My Children, and it was Sarah who later suggested her for the part of Dawn Summers.

Michelle's initial reaction to the musical was "Oh my God I can’t sing to save my life", but she was more than happy to dance. "Michelle Trachtenberg wanted to dance but was not that comfortable singing," said Joss, "so I put in the ballet for her..."


Having performed on stage in school, and later studying at Juilliard, James performed professionally in regional theatre and co-founded the New Mercury Theatre company. He made his television debut in Northern Exposure and soon after landed the role of Spike.

The musical was not a problem for James, as he is also the lead singer and guitarist in his band Ghost of the Robot. James' musical tastes influenced Joss' choice for Spike: "I know the kind of things James sings. He's like kind of a rockabilly so I knew the kind of sound I wanted him to have, and that sort of meshes with Spike. It's Bad Boy noise."



Alyson has been acting since she was 4 years old, appearing in commercials for companies such as McDonalds and Oreos, and guest starring on TV shows including Roseanne, Touched by an Angel and Picket Fences. Her movies include My Stepmother is an Alien, American Pie and American Pie 2.

Alyson was so scared of singing that she tried to talk Joss out of doing the musical, hence Willow ended up with only a few lines of singing, one being the self-mocking "I think this line's mostly filler."

Special Guest Star:

Rupert Giles

Anthony began his performing career in his home country of England. Coming from a show business family, he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and went on to perform in West End theater productions such as Godspell, The Rocky Horror Show and Chess. He has appeared on TV series such as VR5, Highlander and NYPD Blue.

Aside from Joss, Tony was probably the person most keen to do a Buffy musical:"Every season I would ask, Are we going to do the musical episode?'' With his musical background, Tony's singing credentials were well established, and Joss chose him as "my ballad guy."

Guest Starring:


Hinton Battle is the definition of "multi talented", being a dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, writer, producer and fashion model. He is the only living male performer to have won 3 Tony Awards, having won for Broadway productions of Sophisticated Ladies, The Tap Dance Kid, and Miss Saigon. He has guest-starred in TV series such as Touched by an Angel, Early Edition and Quantum Leap.

Tara Maclay

As a young girl, Amber studied singing, dancing and acting, later performing in local community theatre. Since then she has appeared on TV in series including Promised Land and Cracker, and movies including King of the Hill, The Prime Gig and Don's Plum. In 2001 she wrote, directed, produced and starred in her movie Chance.

Joss knew the quality of Amber's voice from hearing her sing songs she had written herself, and chose her for the "breakaway pop hit" song: "Amber has a very lyrical, heavenly quality to her voice. I knew she was gonna get the big love song."

Info on this page gathered from imdb, buffy.com, ew.com and the Script Book

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