Technology with attitude

Dr. Horrible Live at the Balagan Theater

1

IDr Horriblef you’ve ever been on the Internet, chances are you’ve seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog written by the Whedon brothers plus Maurissa Tancharoen and featuring such talent as Neil Patrick Harris (Better known as the NPH) and Nathan Fillion (better known as Mal). If by some chance you have no idea what I’m talking about, for goodness sake go find out! The rest of you, read on.

Ever since I first saw Dr. Horrible, which was about six months after everyone else, I knew it would make a fantastic full length musical. It seems the folks at the Balagan Theater here in Seattle had the same idea, and they decided to do something about it. Enter the Balagan’s latest show co-directed by Elizabeth Eller and Eric Ankrim; a live adaptation of Whedon’s web musical.

This show has been more than nine months in the making; getting the rights, finding the cast, and writing new material for the stage. Adapting a film for live theater is always a challenge, and this show is no exception. Ms. Eller and Mr. Ankrim described to me how the show has gone though daily changes during the rehearsal as process content was added, cut and revised.

So how is this show going to be different from the original? First of all, it’s longer. Several new songs, written by Mr. Ankrim, have been added along with a fair bit of new dialog. Many of the songs now include a chorus and the music will all be from a live band. When I asked how they were planning to show Bad Horse himself, I received only a knowing smile and a promise that the Thoroughbred of Sin will be present, and that he will be “badass.”

That about sold me on the show. Opening night is August 20th and the show runs for three weeks, with a possible extension depending on ticket sales. Said tickets aren’t available yet, but keep a lookout.

The Balagan itself is a wonderful example of local Seattle Theater. Their preference is the fill each season with a mix of classic plays and new work, which means a lot of Seattle playwrights get their start here. It’s also a great place to go if you’re looking to see up and coming actors from around the Puget Sound.

Currently located at 1117 East Pike St, the Balagan will soon be moving to a new home. Before that however, they have one more show; Rapture of the Deep, by local author Eric Lane Barnes, set to open in September. Wherever they end up, I wish the Balagan the best of luck and hope they continue to produce such exiting work.

*Correction: The Music Director is one Kimberly Dare.  Elizabeth Eller and Eric Ankrim co-directed the show.