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Friday, April 23, 2010

The Play: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Joelle Jones Dr. Horrible artwork
  • Joelle Jones' Dr. Horrible artwork
Gosh darn, Blue Monkey Theater has some monstrously large footprints to fill. Umm, the Whedon family. Umm, NPH. Oh, and Henny Penny Cutie Face. So the young theater company is obviously being very ambitious by taking on a stage production of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. And their hearts are certainly in it. It's this vim and vigor from the young cast that smooths over a large chunk of the musical production's bumpy bits. Everyone involved is obviously a fan of Whedonville—there's charming Buffy/Angel/Spike graffiti on the set—but this fandom seems to be at the root of Blue Monkey's main problem with Dr. Horrible.

The musical suffers from too much fleshing out, with 18 extra minutes tacked onto the original web series' runtime. It's these extra fourth-wall defying minutes (taken from the special feature Commentary! The Musical on the Dr. Horrible DVD) that ultimately detracts from Dr. Horrible's inherent awesomeness. It would've been a stronger production with a little curatorial trimming. As Dr. Horrible (Sean Dugan), Penny (played by strong-voiced Rebecca Anderson, who seems a little too "popular girl" to play Penny), and Captain Hammer (Jake Kasch; perfectly perfect) break character to sing songs about who is upstaging whom—it becomes very obvious that the fourth wall needs to go back up. Make no mistake, Blue Monkey's Dr. Horrible is a fun way to spend 40 minutes (if not 60), being regaled by Whedon songs and snappy dialogue. The spirit of the web series is there, even if it's not as fun following Blue Monkey into the special features.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Blue Monkey Theater at Pacific Crest Community School Theater, 116 NE 29th, 593-2629, Fri-Sat 8 pm, through May 1, $10 (advance or if you show up in a superhero costume) or $15

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