While waiting in the lobby before going in, I spoke to some of the attendees. Several people had shown up without tickets hoping that the bad weather would free up some seats and several (if not all) of them lucked out. There were fans from all over, North Carolina (Abby and Lisa [pictured above] braved a NYC snowstorm, tourists, and holiday shoppers to attend the screening), California and more, who were in town for the holidays, who took the opportunity to come and sing-along. Most people were still bundled up and wet from the falling snow, but one die-hard fan traveled via subway from the Bronx in full Dr. Horrible costume, to which I say: Kevin, You Rock!
As we each filed into the theatre, we were given a little bag of mysterious goodies: a fake moustache, a sprig of shrubbery, a little bottle of bubbles, "Firefly" glow sticks, Champagne Party Poppers and, finally, a horse head finger puppet. After everyone settled into their seats, our sing-along host for the evening, Clinton McClung, came up to get the crowd going and to give us a rundown on the audience participation part of the show. And participate we did – everything from pointing at the screen each time Dr. Horrible sings "stop" during "My Freeze Ray" to hiding behind our shrubbery as Billy spies on Penny’s date with Captain Hammer to blowing bubbles in the Laundromat and waving our finger puppet horse heads as Dr. Horrible joins the Evil League of Evil. Some participants even got up during "Brand New Day" and walked through the aisles crushing tiny people!
The highlight of the night, though, was during Act III. At a very tender and tragic moment (yes, you all know which moment I speak of), a lone fan cried out in an anguished voice, "Damn you, Joss!!" It expressed what was in all of our hearts and broke the ice for Dr. Horrible’s final transition. Once again, a good time was had by all and Whedon fans left the theatre simply wanting more.
After the screening, I caught up with Clinton McClung to talk to him about organizing the screening. He had been previously involved in doing the Buffy Sing-Along screenings and enjoyed those so much that he wanted to try to recreate the experience for Whedon fans with this new musical. He doesn’t know if the future will bring more screenings, but would certainly love to see a Dr. Horrible sequel if Joss and company can find the time. Clinton was recently interviewed by BuffyFest Vlog, see the video here.
I also was able to talk to the fan from North Carolina who had never seen Dr. Horrible or any other Joss show. Her verdict: "It was really good, I really enjoyed it. It was the first time I’d seen it, so I was impressed." Chalk up another fan for Joss.
Paley Buzz — don’t miss:
Coming in early 2009, a DVD of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Reunion from PaleyFest08. See the Scooby team reunited in the full, uncut panel, with bonus backstage footage. Updates on the sale date will be in the Paley Center e-newsletter. If you don’t currently subscribe, you may sign up on www.paleycenter.org.