Rick Riordan’s wonderful book Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was adapted into an off-Broadway musical. Chris McCarrell (Percy), Kristin Stokes (Annabeth) and George Salazar (Grover/Mr. D) all put on a wonderful performance along with James Hayden Rodriguez (Luke), Jonathan Raviv (Chiron), Sarah Beth Pfeifer (Clarisse), and Danielle James (the understudy for Carrie Compere who played Sally in the show I attended). I’m not a musical theater nerd and I don’t know much about it, however the Percy Jackson books are very close to my heart and this musical did not disappoint me.
The show’s final performance was on Saturday, May 6, so for people still looking to see it their only hope is a revival of the show. So far, the gods has been favorable upon the musical as the cast did record a cast album and the show was nominated for three drama desk awards including outstanding musical so a revival may not be far-fetched.
I went in under the impression that it was going to be 100% book accurate, but it was not. I understood why they had to cut and change certain things to fit into a two-hour musical and I was not disappointed by the play’s accuracy. Yes, they changed a lot and cut some scenes, but the book was still at the heart of the musical and there were plenty of references to the books (even to future books, not just The Lightning Thief). The characters all remained true to who they were and it still felt “Percy Jackson” to me.
Many people were worried about the cast not being twelve years old, but actually I’m glad they weren’t. The cast did several very cool thing that could not have been performed by kids. The alll did a wonderful job of acting like kids and staying true to their characters.
I loved all of the songs and the script was hilarious. There were several jokes that were both new and from the books. I spent the majority of the time laughing. However, there were also the serious moments that made the Percy Jackson books such a good series.
My favorite songs from the musical were “Another Terrible Day” by George Salazar, “Drive” by Chris McCarrell, Kristin Stokes, George Salazar and company, “My Grand Plan” by Kristin Stokes, and “Good Kid,” by Chris McCarrell. “Another Terrible Day” was the funniest in the musical and it featured Mr. D complaining about Camp Half Blood. I thought “Drive” was a very creative way of incorporating several events from the book without having them take too much time time. “My Grand Plan” was the most empowering song about Annabeth and her plan to be remembered and it reminded my why Annabeth has always been one of my favorite characters. “Good Kid” was the song pre-released as a promotion for the musical and I’ve listened to it about a thousand times; however seeing Chris McCarrell as Percy singing it live was absolutely mind blowing. The cast album can be pre-ordered here, and will be released on June 30.
The set was amazing. It kept the “Percy Jackson” feel and the cast was very creative with it. It looked kind of like an industrial zone with Greek pillars and spray paint. They had the coolest lighting that changed the feel of the set to make the audience feel like they were in different parts of the world (or underworld).
The musical was phenomenal and I have zero complaints. Everything about it put me in awe and it stayed true to the characters, humor and message of the one of my favorite books. I hope the musical gets a revival and continues to do well all the way to Broadway. The Lightning Thief Musical, along with the book, has a very special place in my heart. For those looking for more information, they can visit lightningthiefmusical.com.