Stranger Things Stage Production


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The above article is about a production that will start on the West End pretty soon. This stage play is a prequel story to the Netflix series Stranger Things. A thought I would like to put out, is this what live theatre will be moving forward? Will it be based on pre existing media properties that have a very contemporary audience and builds out an existing narrative established in film or streaming (notice i didn't say television). I remember after the recession there was an attempt at what I called recession theatre. These were stage productions on Broadway that were based on films that shaped the boomers. Films like Ghost, Catch Me if You Can, Rocky, The Bridges of Madison County, and recently Back to The Future. I even toured a few of these doomed productions when I was younger. From what I observed, these productions were not successful and all closed within a year. It seems like this did not translate over into that audience wanting to spend money to see those productions. Will this be any more successful? If you are a baby gen xer/ elder millennial like I am you have been conditioned into the modern day attention economy and the idea that for better or worse a media franchise has to have a universe tied into it, thanks Marvel. I have talked at nauseam about how if you are gen x or younger you don't care about opera or Shakespeare, but you still want to experience live entertainment. Is this that kind of live entertainment? In my opinion this sounds like a really good idea. it could solve the funding issue for regional theatre if they choose to do productions like this. Get financial backing from Netflix, Hulu, or Paramount+ to create stage productions that expand on a media franchise, and stream them. They wouldn't need to go begging corporations for financial donations that they are now directing towards medical science instead of the humanities.

I think this is very very interesting!
Our industry has always gotten by on adaptation of stories. And since our modern society primarily ingests our stories through streaming services and movies, it would make sense that adaptations of that IP would bring itself to the stage to get people in the seats. Disney already established that with turning their best loved movies into musicals to varying levels of success. There isn't a high school or children's theater in the US that hasn't produced a Beauty in the Beast Jr. production or something similar.
The first thing that popped into my head when I saw this was when is it coming to my town and how can I get tickets for me and my kids.

I too am a baby x-er/old millennial. I like going to live entertainment whether it’s a play, a musical, a band. I don’t as often as I’d like but I like it when I do. To me this is a great hook for my kids. They both know Stranger Things, they like Stranger Things, and I’m pretty sure I could convince them to go see Stranger Things The Play. It’s a gateway drug. Start with this then maybe next summer we cruise down to Ashland and catch something at the Shakespeare Festival (assuming they’re still around). Or we go see the off Broadway whatever it is that rolls through Portland. But if something that is a piece of a media universe they know can expose them to a medium they thought of as stodgy and boring and convince them it isn’t I’m all for it.

Ps. FWIW I’m pretty well over the whole “everything has to be part of an interconnected universe” thing. Just tell a good story ffs. Now get off my lawn
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Even if you've been to The Stranger Things Experience (complete with Surfer Boy pizza for sale and the rest of the Starcourt Mall represented, albeit scaled down), and you're at all like're already frothing at the idea of seeing this show live. Let's goooooooo!
When it tours, I look forward to the OT/PT on the move in and move out.

/old and cynical and getting moreso
I think it's very simple. If I'm going to spend $200 going to the theater I want to know that I'm going to like the show before I invest. While us theater folks take the time to read scripts and listen to the music, normals don't. So given the choice between Six and Lion King, they are going to pick Lion King. They know the story, the music, and they know their money is not going to be wasted.

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