REVIEW – The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

If you love Greek mythology, musicals, and perhaps a certain little book series called Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, then I absolutely recommend you check out The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson musical at a city near you!

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical follows – you guessed it – Percy Jackson as he realizes he’s a demigod (his father being the one and only Poseidon), and embarks on a quest with his friends Annabeth Chase and Grover to find Zeus’ missing lightning bolt to prevent an all-out war among the Gods!

I had the pleasure of attending The Lightning Thief‘s first stop of shows in Chicago, Illinois and I loved every minute of it. Walking into the theater alone was amazing, because thunder and lightning could be heard before the show began!

From a production standpoint, The Lightning Thief is like “the little show that could”! I was very surprised to learn after the show that there were only 7 members of the cast, with certain actors playing many different characters. This fact never comes across on stage at all! I generally thought there were about 10 other members of the cast, so for that I commend you all! While it’s evident that the show is low budget compared to other known productions, The Lightning Thief works with what they have. Like for example, having Ryan Knowles (Chiron) hilariously prance around on stage like a horse – horse tail included! Or by using leaf blowers to convey Percy’s water abilities. I mean really, how else would you have water represented on stage with all those lights and other hazards around?

While it obviously is beneficial to know at least a little bit of the source material (or if you’re me, read a quarter of the first book and have seen the first movie. Don’t throw lightning bolts at me please!), that isn’t necessary in the slightest. The first song, “Prologue/The Day I Got Expelled”, sets the scene and explains the mythology and lore perfectly for anyone new coming in.

This can’t be a review on a musical without discussing the songs. In my opinion, this is the highlight and best aspect of the show. Rob Rokicki wrote all the songs and while there may be a soft rock influence heard throughout each, there’s a song for everyone!
I think what worked so well in the production is each character is given a song to shine! This further fleshes out the characters, allowing development for even the smallest character role, something that I think we can all agree the films didn’t do. A few personal favorites of mine are Percy’s (Chris McCarrell) relatable “Good Kid”, Annabeth’s (Kristin Stokes) belter “My Grand Plan,” and Grover’s (Jorrel Javier) tear-jerker “The Tree on the Hill”. I’ll admit it, I cried during it.

One more note I’d like to mention is: I have never walked out of a theater after seeing a play/musical and have said to myself, “Okay, there needs to be a sequel.” Hearing the entire cast sing the closing song “Bring on the Monsters,” which can be viewed below in the show’s musical montage, not only holds so much power, but teases what might happen to Percy and his friends in the future. All the more reason for this production to kick off a TV series adaptation, perhaps?

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I recommend The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical to everyone and anyone!

The dates and locations the National Tour will take place are listed below. Grab your tickets now!

Chicago, IL (Jan 8-13), Charlotte, NC (Jan 15-20), Philadelphia, PA (Jan 22-27), Findlay, OH (Jan 29), Worcester, MA (Jan 31-Feb 3), Bethlehem, PA (Feb 13),Washington, DC (Feb 15-17), Schenectady, NY (Feb 22-23), Detroit, MI (February 26-March 9),Toronto, ON (March 19-24), New York, NY (March 27-31), Durham, NC (April 9-10), Sacramento, CA(April 18-21), Seattle, WA (April 23-28), Eugene, OR (April 30), Reno, NV (May 3-5), Portland, OR (May 7-8), San Jose, CA (May 10-12), San Antonio, TX (May 15), Dallas, TX (May 21-26), Cheyenne, WY(May 28-29), Tulsa, OK (May 31-June 1), Wilmington, NC (June 4-5), Atlanta, GA (June 7-9), Ft. Lauderdale, FL (June 25-June 30), and Tampa, FL (July 9-14)

For those that have seen the musical previously in New York, what are your thoughts on it? Or if you’re planning on seeing it on one of the above dates, what are you most excited to see from it?
Tell us all your thoughts below, Half Bloods!