Since it’s release July 2008, the internet exclusive musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog has gained a steadily growing cult following as word of the production continues to spread. Live screenings of the show have sprouted up across the country, a la like Rocky Horror Show screenings of old, complete with a live cast acting through the movie playing on screen behind them and, of course, audience participation.
The live screenings of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog began shortly after the show was released on the internet this summer. The first officially sanctioned live fan show occurred August 31st, 2008 at DragonCon in Atlanta, GA. Fans were encouraged to arrive in costume and the show was performed live before an audience of fairly rambunctious nerds. Segments are available for viewing on YouTube. In December 2008, the Paley Center in New York City hosted a similar event hosted by Clinton McClung in which fans costumed for the show and other Whedon productions geeked out to the show singing along and using the various party favors as McClung suggested. The forums at the official fan website are abuzz with other attempts and ideas on how best to adapt the show to a live stage.
Dr. Horrible follows the story of an aspiring evil doer as he both tries to win a place in the Evil League of Evil as well as win the heart of local bleeding heart liberal, Penny. Throughout the show, Dr. Horrible takes time aside to address the followers of his online video blog by shamelessly venting his feelings and frustrations regarding the matter at hand as he is continually thwarted by do-gooder Captain Hammer. This all involves a good deal of singing.
Dr. Horrible was written by Joss Whedon and his siblings during the 2008 writer’s guild strike. Whedon is a third-generation television writer responsible for Buffy the Vampire Series and Firefly. He funded the production himself, which gave Whedon considerable freedom in producing and directing the show. The cast and crew worked on this film for free, although all proceeds from sales of the show via iTunes and DVDs go toward compensating them for their contributions. The show was released for free online view on July 28, 2008, and the DVD was released December 19 later that year. As of January 5, 2009, the DVD is ranked number 2 of all movies being sold on Amazon.