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BWW Review: STRANGER SINGS! is a Loving (Though Sometimes Flawed) Interpretation

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Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical is running at the Players Theatre through September 5th.

BWW Review: STRANGER SINGS! is a Loving (Though Sometimes Flawed) Interpretation

Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical tells the story of the beloved Netflix show through song and dance, poking fun at all of the 1980s tropes that take place in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, where nothing strange ever happens.

For those unfamiliar with Stranger Things, the first season focuses on a group of nerdy boys searching for their friend, Will, who has gone missing. With a small cast of 9 and very little set pieces, the show takes a minimalist approach and focuses on the characters themselves, with each being parodied as a stereotype from the television show - Nancy is the boy-obsessed teenage girl, Dustin is the funny sidekick, Will is the dramatic theatre kid, Steve is the "bad boy," the list goes on. There are plenty of hilarious moments throughout the show along with a few emotional moments that keep the plot going.

Those who created Stranger Sings! certainly have a love for the Netflix show, which can even be seen in the Stagebill with the "Hawkins Classifieds" section. Jonathan Hogue shows off his many talents in writing not only the book but the music and lyrics as well. Cassandra McCall Endictott's costumes are fantastic, with many appearing almost identical to those of Amy Parris (the costume designer of the Netflix show).

The star of this parody is not a main character from the Netflix show like Eleven or Will. Instead, Barb, played by an incredible Savannah-Lee Mumford, quickly becomes the audience's favorite, truly giving the character the "justice" that many fans have been requesting for years. "Barb's Turn," one of the parody numbers in the show, is arguably the best, earning the most applause and laughter. Caroline Huerta gives a stunning and hilarious performance as Joyce, especially during her diva number, "Crazy." And of course, Jalen Bunch is fantastic as the Demogorgon, the horrifying creature from another dimension with incredible dancing skills.

Even though the majority of Stranger Sings! is a great experience that strives to create a funny parody of the original, the show sometimes struggles with keeping itself on track, dancing between being an original musical and one that only parodied popular songs. The references from the later seasons tended to not land as they took away from the main plot inspired by Season 1 of the heroes on a journey to rescue Will. While the references were funny and I enjoyed seeing my favorite character, Robin, there could have been better coherence.

Ultimately, I believe that with a bit of work, Stranger Sings! could truly live up to its full potential as a parody of the beloved Netflix show. The cast and crew clearly have a love for the original and a passion for putting on a great performance, but there could be improvements for audiences visiting the Upside Down.

Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical is running at The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal St.) through September 5th, with performances at 8:00 PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and a performance at 3:00 PM on Sundays. For more information, visit https://strangersingsthemusical.com/.

Tickets can be purchased at https://ci.ovationtix.com/277/production/1058179, with an $11 lottery taking place 90 minutes before each performance at the theatre.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Kat Mokrynski