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Do the weird stuff! Superfans host ‘Dr. Horrible’ sing-along party

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What a crazy random happenstance!

New York Comic Con hits town Oct. 9–12, but the geeky good times are not confined to that weekend — or the Javits Center. On Oct. 4, Union Hall in Park Slope will host an interactive screenings of “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” — a cult web series from “Buffy the Vampire” creator Joss Whedon — as part of the broader New York Super Week celebrations.

The event sold out so quickly that the organizers decided to add a second late-night show directly after the first, and one organizer said he expects it to be packed to the gills with hardcore fans.

“It’s just going to be a lot of people who really love it and want to celebrate it with other people who love it,” said Michael Austin of SecretFormula, which puts on regular sing-along nights at Union Hall.

“Dr. Horrible” follows the story of a bumbling wannabe supervillain, played by fan-favorite Neil Patrick Harris, as he tries to fulfill his evil destiny while also wooing his neighbor (Felicia Day), who is dating a cocky superhero (Nathan Fillion). Written and produced during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild strike, the musical was shot on the cheap, and between Whedon’s star power and the dearth of other programming at the time, it was an instant hit.

A production bursting with catchy musical numbers and claiming a hardcore cadre of fans, “Dr. Horrible” is almost designed for group sing-along sessions. But this event is no ordinary “Dr. Horrible” screening. In the months leading up to the show, Austin and his SecretFormula colleagues have been busy imagining and writing a sequel to the musical, which deals with the fallout of the dark, tragic ending of the series.

“ ‘Dr. Horrible” broke my heart the first time I watched it,” said Austin. “In our version we’ve brought one of the characters back from the dead, but it still isn’t super happy. To whitewash it and make a perfect happy ending didn’t seem very sincere.”

The three sections of the musical will be screened in parts, with Austin and the rest of the cast performing their sequel in between. In order to understand the sequel, viewers will need to have watched all of “Dr. Horrible” beforehand, but Austin said he is not worried about spoiling the original ending for his audience.

“I don’t think anyone will be coming who hasn’t seen it before,” he said. “The sing-along is really for the superfans.”

Austin encouraged fans to show up in costume — either from the musical or inspired by other characters in the Whedon-verse. The actual musical is only about 45 minutes long, but the show is going to run about two hours. Along with Austin’s sequel, the party will be jam-packed with other “Dr. Horrible”-centric celebrations, including trivia, a costume contest, and a drinking game throughout the night that will have the audience knocking back booze whenever certain cues come on screen.

“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” sing-along at Union Hall [702 Union St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 260–4000, www.uninonhallny.com]. Oct. 4 at 11:45 pm. $10.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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