Review: The Lightning Thief Musical, on tour at the Beacon Theatre
After a successful off-Broadway run, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical launched a national tour in January. For a few days in March, they stopped back home in New York at the Beacon Theatre.
Percy Jackson did not want to be a half-blood. In case you're unfamiliar with the books that this musical is based on, that means half god and half human. And if you think life is hard as a regular teenager, the stakes are raised when you also happen to be the son of an ancient Greek god. Percy (Chris McCarrell) finds himself at Camp Half-Blood, a place where the children of the gods are safe from any outside threats. But soon he is given a quest to find Zeus' lightning bolt, and finds himself headed toward the Underworld with fellow half-blood Annabeth (Kristin Stokes) and satyr Grover (Jorrel Javier) by his side.
The Lightning Thief falls into a category with teen musicals such as Be More Chill and Dear Evan Hansen. But what sets it apart is the love for the source material at the heart of the show. While 20th Century Fox created a film adaption of the first novel in 2010, followed by an adaption of the sequel in 2013, the movies became very "Hollywood," and lost some of the coming of age story that makes the books what they are.
But all is redeemed in this musical. The talented cast (including several cast members who play multiple parts) are clearly invested in their performances, and they give fantastic ones to boot. The pop/rock score suits the material and is full of catchy tunes. At the end of the day, The Lightning Thief is a love letter to the fans of the Percy Jackson books. And it's pretty amazing to see.