New show at Flandrau will turn Stranger Things fans "Upside Down"

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Courtesy Shipherd Reed | The Daily Wildcat

 The Stranger Things laser show opening night on June 1 held at the Flandrau Science Center.                       

In the pitch black, sunglasses appear and pulse to “Sunglasses at Night.” They disintegrate into kaleidoscope shapes, before clacking cameras appear, only to do the same. Red text announces “chapters,” from Chapter 1: Darkness to Chapter 5: The End?, all set to thumping, recognizable 80s songs. 

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium’s new “Laser Stranger Things” laser and music show opened Friday, June 1, with 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. showings of the roughly 45-minute show. Fans of the Netflix show who were in the audience recognized many of the shapes projected on the dome in morphing colors, like Eleven’s bleeding nose, bicycles, flashlights and the feared Demogorgon. 

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A press release for the show said that as Stranger Things' viewers “grooved to the show’s awesome ‘80s pop-rock soundtrack,” they can now do the same at Laser Stranger Things, and be transported “back to that dark, delightful adventure.”

Ian Green

 The Stranger Things laser show opening night on June 1 held at the Flandrau Science Center.      

The show features 80s hits like “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” by The Clash, “Girls On Film” by Duran Duran and “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, paired with laser lights and images in the dome that will, according to the press release, “turn your world Upside Down.”

Shipherd Reed, associate director of communications at Flandrau, said they decided on this laser show because they knew how popular the Netflix series is.

"It’s something new, there’s a lot of people out there waiting for the next season and we thought it would be a fun thing to do in the summer before the next season arrives on Netflix," Reed said. 

For Audrey Balda, Pima Community College student, who was wearing a Stranger Things t-shirt, it was “so good.”

“I really liked how psychedelic the shapes were,” Balda said. “It was really true to the show.” 

Balda said she had previously attended the Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon show at Flandrau, and when she heard there was a Stranger Things show, she called her cousin, Alea Balda – they both knew they had to come watch the show. 

“It was really cool,” Alea said, also wearing a Stranger Things t-shirt. “The music, too, was really true to the show.” 

Ian Green

The Stranger Things laser show had its opening night on June 1 at the Flandrau Science Center. 

While Audrey didn’t want to give any spoilers for those who have not yet attended the show, she recommended it to fans.  

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Reed said the opening weekend was a success, especially the two Friday evening shows.

"We were really happy about our opening weekend," Reed said. "We’ve never gotten that many people into our Friday laser music shows."

If social media is any indication, Reed said it seemed like the show will continue to get good traction.

The show will continue to play throughout the summer at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday. Other shows over the summer include Perfect Little Planet, Tucson Sky & Beyond, Touring the Solar System, Black Holes, We Are Stars and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. 

Ian Green

The Stranger Things laser show had its opening night on June 1 at the Flandrau Science Center. 

While tickets can’t be purchased in advance, Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium does accept ticket reservations. Information on all show times and ticket prices can be found at flandrau.org or by calling 520-621-4516.

"It’s a fun show if you’re a fan of Stranger Things, it’s a kick," Reed said. "If your kids watch the series and love the series, it’s a lot of fun to come see the laser show. It’s a fun family activity and I know out family will be coming to see it in the near future. And of course in the summer, when it’s hot in Tucson, it’s cool in the Science Center."


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