The final season of “Stranger Things” will soon reveal if its band of unassuming heroes can triumph over the demonic Upside Down dimension plaguing their fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. For those who can’t wait, however, the “Stranger Sings” parody musical is here.
The aptly-named show is playing off-Broadway in New York and London and will hit Melbourne, Australia, in November, according to CNET. Written and produced by Jonathan Hogue, this “upside down” take on the Netflix series hilariously subverts the first season.
“When I started exploring this series as a parody musical, the songs and story beats all fell into place so naturally, as if the show was meant to be musicalized, and parodied, from the beginning,” Hogue told CNET.
“Who doesn’t want to see… Barb become a vengeful musical diva?”
“Stranger Things” was created as a love letter to 1980s horror. It sees middle school friends Mike, Lucas, Will and Dustin save Eleven, a young girl with psychokinetic powers hunted by government agents — and interdimensional creatures from the Upside Down.
Fans might remember Barb (Shannon Purser) from Season 1, the loyal friend of Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) who was dragged off by a Demogorgon and never seen again. Her unceremonious death spurred a viral #JusticeForBarb hashtag, which Hogue kept in mind.
“It was also important to me that while the show remained funny throughout, I also made sure to infuse it with just the right amount of heart so that audiences really cared about these characters, as silly as they are,” Hogue told CNET, adding he was inspired by “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python.”
That infusion of heart resulted in hilariously self-aware songs from Nancy and Barb about their friendship — in which they confidently bellow that nothing will tear them apart. “We’ll stick together, friends forever, and best friends, never, they never die,” they sing.
The two-hour musical features 14 songs from fan-favorite characters, including Eleven (who was portrayed in the series by Millie Bobby Brown) crooning about how awful it was to be experimented on by Hawkins National Laboratory’s evil Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine).
“Yes, you said that you’ll always be there, then I’m sucked away to a nightmare,” sings Barb in another scene. “Come and look for me or just maybe; Barb is dead so let’s just forget me! Clearly, I’m not central to this plot; let me disappear because why not?”
Hogue, inspired by “classic ’80s films and music” and Mel Brooks, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and awards for the musical. He told CNET everyone can enjoy it, even if they’ve never seen the Netflix show — or rabidly tweeted #JusticeForBarb.