Review: The Lightning Thief, starring Chris McCarrell
Percy Jackson made it to Broadway. In a move that feels somewhat reminiscent to the transfer of Be More Chill, the musical about a son of Poseidon who wishes he was normal booked a limited 16-week run at the Longacre Theatre. Coming straight off a national tour, it can likely credit its dedicated fanbase for showing their support to propel the show forwards.
After seeing The Lightning Thief on tour at the Beacon Theatre in March, I described it as a love letter to fans of the Percy Jackson books. And ultimately, that's exactly what it is. With the same cast and creatives as the national tour not much has changed from the bare-bones set to the special effects that top off with toilet paper on leaf blowers. It walks the line between inventive and cringe-worthy, but barely.
Wisely, the focus is put on the cast, especially Chris McCarell as Percy, Kristin Stokes as Annabeth, fellow child of a god, and Jorrel Javier as Grover, best friend and protector to Percy who also happens to be a satyr. The cast works immensely hard to make the material work, and they have the talent to do so.
Is The Lightning Thief up to standard that some hold Broadway shows to these days? Probably not. But is it a fun family musical that can appeal to teens who fell in love with the books as well as those just discovering the world that Rick Riordan has created? Yes. And for what it is, that's all it needs to be.