May 27

Dr. Horrible, Live in Calgary

by Nathan Atnikov · 0 comments

Back in 2007, the Writers Guild of America went on strike. They felt, rightfully so, that they deserved a cut of DVD sales for the shows that they’d worked on. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but it ultimately had a catastrophic effect on the writers. During the strike, networks were forced to load their schedules with reality TV and game shows – and it turned out that most of these shows were far more popular than the scripted television they replaced. And not only were they more popular, they were cheaper to produce. By going on strike, the writers had proven how unnecessary they were.

But the strike did have some upside, and one of the positive consequences was Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. During the strike, a group of writers set out to make something inexpensive but of high quality. The group – Joss, Zack, and Jed Whedon, along with Maurissa Tancharoen – wrote a musical comedy intended solely for broadcast over the internet, thus eliminating constraints on length and forced breaks for commercials. They then got big names like Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion to act in it. And the rest was history. The show won several awards, and Time magazine even named it one of the best “inventions” of 2008.

From May 27 to June 5, Broadway West and Vertigo Theatre are putting on a live performance of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. How exactly this show will translate to the stage remains to be seen, but if it can retain the goofy charm of the original – helped by its 14 original songs – then this could make for one of the most enjoyable nights of the summer.

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