Gary’s Ratings for Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical is 4.8/5.
Main Cast: To Be Announced (Casting by Zachary Spiegel)
Running Dates: Performances begin Sept. 12, 2022; Opening Sept. 22, 2022, Closing Jan. 1, 2023
Theater Location: Playhouse 46 at St. Luke’s, 308 W. 46th Street, New York
Running Time: Approximately 100 minutes
Tickets: Starting at $39. Buy tickets here.
Gary’s Rating Score
Even though the musical hasn’t premiered yet, I am giving it a 4.8/5 rating score. I believe I am justifiably excited about the musical since the first production had such excellent reviews.
Ideally, the creative and production team have taken the chance to improve any drawbacks of the last year’s show and prepared an unforgettable experience.
Important Note: Come back and read our review as soon as this show hits the public. We’ll be one of the first to watch!
What Is It About?
“Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical” is an over-the-top satiric musical for the popular show “Stranger Things.” It’s a Netflix hit series about the adventures of a group of tweens, teenagers, and their families, set in 1983 Hawkins, Indiana.
But they’re not just on any adventure. The characters fight monsters and take on a noble but risky journey to help a friend. While the TV show fans may be engaged in the fighting-the-monsters element, the musical takes another approach.
The creative team has turned all the underlying themes like pubescent angst, love triangles, and problematic parenting into satire.
In the musical, the monsters will be singing along with the cast, and characters will take different paths than they do in the series.
How Complex Is the Show?
In order to follow and fully enjoy the musical, you need to be familiar with the Netflix show. However, you’ll probably have fun even if you don’t know the characters’ backgrounds.
Also, while the TV show has a 16+ age rating, the musical is recommended for ages 13 and above. The language might not be overly complex, but the play may contain foul language and suggestive content.
Set Design and Style
The first production of the “Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical” was in the off-Broadway venue, the Players Theatre. But even though this theater has a few more seats than Playhouse 46, the new place is more suitable.
The seats surround the stage, thus allowing the audience to immerse into the plot fully. Furthermore, the audience’s proximity can even make them feel like they’re part of the action.
In terms of set design, I expect some callbacks to the 1980s and recognizable garments that faithfully represent the era.
Also, the colorful Christmas lights that were such a big part of the first season of the “Stranger Things” series, and previous production of the musical, will probably make an appearance.
The off-Broadway scene has much to offer if you love the musicals and parodies of beloved TV shows. For example, you can check out “The Office! A Musical Parody” at the Jerry Orbach Theater.
Unsurprisingly, this is an unauthorized parody, but that won’t stop you from enjoying the Scranton bunch being themselves at work.
Another excellent option is “Perfect Crime,” an off-Broadway smart and funny thriller about a wealthy therapist accused of murdering her husband.
But this show is not a musical or full parody and only reminds the audience of famous detective series like “Law & Order” or “CSI.”
“Perfect Crime” is one of the longest-running plays in New York history, and you can see it at the Theater Center at 210 West 50th Street.
A Review of the Reviews
The 2021 production of “Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical” had excellent reviews and even picked up a few awards, including Best Costume Design. Of course, I fully expect the 2022 production to add a few more surprises and receive even more phenomenal reviews.
However, it’s safe to assume that the writer, Johnathan Hogue, and director, Nick Flatto, will try to “wow” the audience and critics. Michael Kaish is the music director and has been involved with the “Stranger Sings” project since the very beginning.
But “Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical” is also about excellent choreography. The good news is that Ashley Marinelli is a part of the creative team.
She is an award-winning choreographer and has worked on the dance routines for the 2021 off-Broadway satirized version of “Stranger Things.”
Characters and a Little About Them
Anyone who has watched “Stranger Things” on Netflix is already familiar with the main characters. However, the parody only works if you know what the gang is up to on the TV screen.
Still, if you’re not up to speed with each character’s storyline or can’t recall what makes them unique, here’s a quick reminder.
|Eleven||She is a young girl who possesses supernatural abilities. Eleven escapes the lab and meets a group of friends who help her become a “normal” girl.|
|Will Byers||The character of Will gets stuck in the Upside Down, an alternate dimension to their hometown of Hawkins. Will’s friends, Eleven and his mom are trying to save him.|
|Johnathan Byers||Will has an older brother, Johnathan. He’s a typical brooding teenager but also emotional. He also wants to help his brother escape the Upside Down.|
|Joyce Byers||The ’80s were different, and Joyce is an excellent representation of a more relaxed parenting style. However, she’s also devoted, caring, and smart.|
|Lucas Sinclair||Lucas is the most practical of the group, super smart, and athletic too. He’s also careful about who he trusts.|
|Dustin Henderson||Dustin is the heart of the group with his unique way of thinking and expressing himself. He’s also the one with the best jokes.|
|Mike Wheeler||Mike has terrific instincts, which makes him a good leader. Will is his best friend, and he’s the one who advocates for Eleven.|
|Nancy Wheeler||Mike’s sister, Nancy, is calm, collected, intelligent, and ambitious. Her quick-thinking abilities are helpful, but she experiences issues in the romance department.|
|Jim Hopper||Jim is the local Chief of Police, with a troubled past, a grumpy disposition, and a gentle side. His job is to help the kids on their quest to save Will.|
|Steve Harrington||Steve represents the ’80s version of the “cool guy.” He likes Nancy but is also insecure in many ways. His character goes through many changes.|
|Barb Holland||Barb is Nancy’s best friend. She’s loyal, hardworking, and intelligent, but she’s also less lucky than most.|
About the Theater
The “Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical” will take place in Playhouse 46 at St. Luke’s, located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, around the corner from Times Square.
You can spot the entrance by looking for black iron gates just under the theater awning. Because this is a historic building, accessibility is quite limited.
To get into the theater, you need to take six stair steps. In addition, the two restrooms are small and don’t have wheelchair access. Furthermore, the theater has a 170-seat capacity, and the seating configuration doesn’t allow late seating. So, you won’t be ushered into the theater if you’re late.
Finally, make sure to ring the intercom buzzer at the gate for entry.
Get Your Tickets for Stranger Sings
A great satire is not easy to produce, especially if you’re making a parody of a beloved TV show. But if the revival of the successful 2021 “Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical” is anything like the award-winning show, you might want to get your tickets right away.
Indeed, the original Netflix show has funny moments too, but the story is more serious and keeps the audience on edge.
In contrast, I expect the musical to take the show’s comedic elements and elaborate on them. If you don’t want to miss that kind of fun, get your tickets here.