Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical


It’s a dark and chilly November evening in 1983 when a mysterious creature escapes from a government laboratory, heading straight for the quaint suburban town of Hawkins, Indiana… 12-year-old Mike Wheeler and his adolescent friends Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, and Will Byers are deep into a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, while teenager Nancy Wheeler fantasizes about her crush Steve Harrington with her best friend Barb Holland. All cheerfully celebrate their cozy, cliché-ridden town where nothing bad ever happens (SONG: “Welcome to Hawkins”). As the boys separate to go home, Will makes his way to his “dark secluded house in the middle of the woods,” dreaming of one day no longer being a wuss and being seen as a hero… until suddenly the lights flicker and he disappears, leaving the rest of the town perplexed
by the possibility of “stranger things” happening in their  predictable little town.

The next morning, Sheriff Jim Hopper meets with a frantic Joyce Byers who is begging him to find her lost boy. Hopper reluctantly agrees to help Joyce, honoring the loss of his own child Sarah who passed away years before. As Hopper questions Mike, Lucas, and Dustin on their friend’s disappearance, the boys become excited by the prospect of setting out to find Will on their own.

Later that night, Barb and Nancy are heading to a party at Steve Harrington’s house, and Barb expresses her fears that Nancy will desert her when she and Steve fall in love. Nancy asserts that “best friends never die!” (SONG: “Forever”). Soon after, Steve cuts in to  steal Nancy away, leaving Barb to wait outside where she laments her lost friendship… until the lights flicker out and she too disappears.

The three boys determine to escape their homes and set off on the adventure they have been long waiting for (…and also to find Will)! (SONG: “The Adventure Song”). In the woods, they run into a mysterious girl with a shaved head who has seemingly escaped from Hawkins Laboratory.

As they question her origins, Mike sees the number “11” tattooed on her arm and decides to call her Eleven. As she shares about her life in the lab, where she lived under the control of her maniacal scientist father Dr. Brenner, she expresses her dreams of one day having a normal dad who won’t regularly perform torturous tests on her (SONG: “The Dad I Never Had”). Lucas is weirded out by the situation, but as he runs off to report her, Eleven freezes him in place with her mind. The boys realize that she has special powers, and that she may be the key to finding Will.

In another part of the woods, Steve and Nancy bicker as they attempt to search for Barb. Hurt by Steve’s insensitivity, Nancy dumps him, and immediately after runs into Jonathan Byers who appears in the woods looking for his brother Will. As the two join forces to search for Will (forgetting about Barb completely), they explore their sudden raging attraction for each other (SONG: “In These Woods”) until the mysterious creature unexpectedly appears and chases them off the scene… the Demogorgon (who is quite the dancer)!

Hopper checks in on Joyce, who has decorated her house with Christmas lights in a mad frenzy to communicate with her son, claiming that “he’s in the lights”. Hopper suggests she may be going crazy, which sets her off (SONG: “Crazy”). Though first defending her manic case as the result of being a concerned mother, Hopper’s offering of a book that might help (a “Handbook for the Recently Deceased”) unleashes her inner alter ego – Winona Ryder! As she spirals through many iconic Winona films and characters, the line between Joyce and Winona blurs, and she determines to own her ‘crazy’ if it means she will find her boy.

The next day at Hawkins Middle School, the boys’ science teacher Mr. Clarke acknowledges a disguised Eleven’s telekinetic abilities after she uses a radio to connect to Will in the Upside Down (the alternate dimension where Will is trapped). The boys recognize she is their key to saving the day and making them heroes (and also finding Will!) (SONG: “Getting Closer”).

Simultaneously, Joyce convinces Hopper of Will’s communication through the lights, and the two set out energized to find Joyce’s missing boy. As Hopper and Eleven introspectively ponder their deeper longings – for Hopper, something to live for; for Eleven, the dad she’s never had – everyone joins together energized by the greater purpose of finding their happy ending. Suddenly, two lab scientists appear, attempting to return Eleven back to the lab. The kids divert the scientists by splitting up into the woods.

Steve is working a shift alongside his surly coworker Robin at the local Starcourt Mall’s ice cream parlor “Spoofs Ahoy” when Dustin runs on attempting to hide from the scientists. As Steve’s attempts to hit on various female customers prove fruitless, Dustin notes that Steve’s cocky bad boy behavior is getting in the way of him having a real connection with the ladies (SONG: “Nice”). Steve eventually discovers a whole new way of living and sets out on an ill-fated mission to woo Robin (even despite misunderstanding her profession of being gay to mean that she’s “happy”).

Back in the forest, Mike and Eleven escape the scientists and now find themselves together alone. Though both feel deep awkwardness in their prepubescent feelings for each other, they slowly form a bond over their shared experience of being considered freaks (SONG: “Stranger”). After the two escape the scientists once again, Eleven’s lab sister Eight appears to pull her away on a side quest… to Mike’s despair.

Meanwhile, in the Upside Down, a poor shivering Will sits alone in darkness in his soiled pants. He attempts to convince himself to stay strong using inspiration from Jim Henson and the power of his imagination (SONG: “Where There’s A Will”), and eventually tries to befriend some of the seemingly adorable but demonic Upside Down demo-creatures. He eventually gains enough confidence to face the Demogorgon… but fails to intimidate as the Demogorgon shrugs and drags Will away.

At the Byers house, Jonathan and Nancy are preparing a trap to capture the monster, but just when the Demogorgon shows up to devour them…. Barb suddenly returns! Turns out, Barb has been alive in the Upside Down this whole time, and has a lot to say about her best friend Nancy ditching her and forgetting about her altogether (SONG: “Barb’s Turn”). While Nancy is compelled by Barb’s impressive vocals, she eventually runs off with Jonathan leaving a perplexed Barb alone once again.

The boys are chased down by the scientists at Hawkins Middle School, but Eleven bursts onto the scene (rocking a new punk look), and kills all the scientists with her mind. When Joyce and Hopper cross paths with the kids, they all realize that Eleven’s powers could potentially open up a portal into the Upside Down.

Summoning her powers, Eleven opens the portal successfully, and Joyce and Hopper join with Eleven to enter into the Upside Down and find Will. But once inside, they come face to face with Dr. Brenner, who reveals his “final test” for Eleven… the Demogorgon, with Will in tow.

Eleven realizes that the only way to defeat the monster and save Will is through accessing her true super power – dance! Eleven and the Demogorgon engage in a fierce dance battle to the death, with a trio of creatures singing along in anticipation (Song: “Final Battle”). Eleven eventually defeats the Demogorgon and Dr. Brenner with her powers, saving Will and escaping before the portal doors close for good.

As everyone reunites back in Hawkins, the boys celebrate their success in saving the day, while Hopper and Eleven discover their need for each other as Hopper offers to adopt her as his own (SONG: “The Dad I Never Had (Reprise)”). Similarly, Dustin and the boys recognize their need for a dad in Steve, much to Steve’s confused chagrin. Everyone acknowledges their crazy journey and the amazing things they learned along the way – all except for Will (SONG: “Upside Down”/”Welcome to Hawkins” Reprise). Barb soon appears revealing that she’s been alive this whole time in the Upside Down… which fazes no one. The whole town celebrates their happy ending and conclude that stranger things have indeed happened in Hawkins.