Percy Jackson and musical. Two words I never thought I’d hear in the same sentence — not until my friend mentioned how “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” was going to come to the Regina A. Quick Center on April 15.
During the summer of 2009, at the awkward age of 11, I read Rick Riordan’s entire five book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, in a month. During my Percy Jackson phase, I found myself submerged in a world that took place in my home state while also researching and educating myself on various Greek mytholicial topics. I was a huge fan and, after being disappointed by the two pretty terrible movies, I found myself wishing for something better. My friend told me about this musical, and at first I was skeptical, but after hearing that it was more accurate depiction of the first book, we decided to check it out.
Walking up to the entrance of the Quick Center, we expected a lot more people our age to be there, being that we grew up with Percy Jackson. I thought of this to kind of be like the Harry Potter Musical or even the Broadway production of Spongebob Squarepants. Instead, I was surprised to find a surplus of children. Kids that probably weren’t alive when the books came out (cue my friends and I starting to feel like three out of place old people).
Despite feeling awkward for being twenty years old and reading about juice and cookies being served afterwards, I couldn’t help but find myself feeling like a kid again. The entire performance was geared toward families due to its silliness and innocence. The voice which told people to sit in their seats sounded exactly like Gilbert Gottfried, which honestly made it feel like I was at the Tiki Room performance in Walt Disney World. It was friendly, warm and welcoming.
The musical itself was alright. The ambiance was definitely geared toward a younger audience such as the decorum and the various props used. However, I found myself enjoying it. Even though I love Logan Lerman, who played Percy Jackson in the movies, this Percy (Jake Glassman) was so much more accurate to the book version. He easily portrayed a confused, energetic, goofy and all over the place sixth grader. It was great to see a more adolescent side to the main character and see it portrayed in a more realistic light. The actors themselves stayed very true to the book characters. It was rather enjoyable, seeing them bring fictional characters to life in the way they were meant to be originally.
However, the whole plot was rushed. The entire performance was an hour, which — great, I got out early to do homework, but this also messed with the entire flow of the story. It felt like things were always on the go, never stopping. One minute Percy’s at school, then somehow ends up on the beach where his parents, Greek god Poseidon and mortal Sally Jackson, met (with little to no explanation as to how they got there from New York City so fast), and then to Camp Half-Blood, the safehaven to protect him from mythological monsters. The ending was also rushed, heavily. The plot built up a lot of hope and anticipation for the final reveal of who the lightning thief was, but then it’s very blunt and rather anticlimactic. The audience has to accept this fact rather quickly.
The costumes were okay. The outfits are supposed to be casual and stuck to the orange theme of Camp Half Blood, but they could’ve done better in some parts such as the costume for the fury– one of the many mythical beasts. It’s understandable that the actor must quickly transform into it, due to the production’s small cast, but something more could’ve been done there.
As for the music, it was really catchy. It didn’t seem like it was going to be catchy at first due to the initial setup of the opening number, but in no time everyone found themselves getting into the various songs. They were well performed and the actors gave it their all. The music was soon appreciated and the audience found themselves rocking along with it.
In the end, I enjoyed it. It brought me back to being a kid again and it had everyone in the audience smiling and laughing with the production. Percy Jackson fans and families should definitely check out “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.” It allows one’s favorite characters come to life and it’s a great way for fans to see the book series they love so much become a reality. Overall, “The Lightning Thief” musical was a huge hit.
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