The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Review by Holli Harms
April 4, 2017
Words From A Nine Year Old:
This story begins with the legendary Rick Riordan story of Percy Jackson book #1. It starts in NYC, in the Metropolitan museum with Mr. Brunner, Mrs. Dodds, the Yancey academy kids, and our hero, Percy (plus his right hand man, Grover). If you've ever read the first book "The Lightning Thief," you probably would know what godly thing is about to happen. And guess what, with costume, theater technique, and maybe a touch from the gods and goddesses themselves, they're able to make a monster come to life.
Then our hero ventures home to take on his own problems with a smelly step-fatherish, word faced, "Gabe." At least the kid has a kind mom. But what does that matter? The cool part you NEED to know is Camp Half-blood (AKA: Demigod U.).
After arriving Percy gets a "warm" (read rude) welcome from "another" son of Zeus, Dionysus, (all hail the lord of alcohol). Well I get it. That kid did have a not so good "birth-and-baby-hood." Dionysus was birthed out of Zeus's right leg. And that could really crank someone's temper. So after Dionysus throws a tantrum - song "Another Terrible Day," it's up to Percy to learn the ways of the "camp" where he's at.
To his luck, Grover went to Camp Half-blood too. Soon Percy meets more demigods, Annabeth (daughter of Athena), Luke (son of Hermes) and one of Ares's daughters.
Percy learns that some parents don't really care about you when they are busy ruling the universe. But still, the half-bloods give their dinner as a sacrifice to the gods.
The songs were great and the acting brought a wondrous fiction story into the AMAZING!!! world of theater.
This was the first play in years that I actually liked without saying, "No... Not really," in my head.
The imaginative staging and tremendous acting constantly surprised me how it made a magical script flow off the paper and became an even more magical performance in front of me.
So, to sum up, this show is the Super Sum Of Awes Awesome A++ Maze To Amazingness = A Five Star Rating.
Words From a Nine Year Old's Mother:
You wanna see a show that is completely INNOVATIVE and INSPIRING, where you can share the experience with your children, where after you can go for sushi and discuss how good you feel, how much FUN you just had, how you have to make sure that all your friends and their children GO AND SEE it and feel the same great way you do? Yup that's THE LIGHTNING THIEF: The Percy Jackson Musical now playing at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in the West Village.
This production is acted and sung as good as any Broadway production. Which I didn't want to say, but Broadway is often what we have come to think of as the pinnacle of talent and expertise. I find that it is off-Broadway, with it's limited funding and greater creativity, where some of the most imaginative staging comes out of. What can you do with four leaf blowers and toilet paper? Create fun and magic.
Fun and magic those are the two words that best describe this production. If you know the Riordan book and the characters as well as most of the audience at our performance then the play is like watching a home movie of all your best friends. There are inside jokes and references that Percy Jackson fans will love. It is as if we helped write the script. There is an ownership to the story for the fans, and as we watch it unfold on stage we can't help feeling like it was all done specifically for us.
Percy suffers from being different. All the kids at Camp Half-blood do. But isn't that all of us, tweens, teenagers and adults at times? We feel like the weirdo, the loser, the outsider.
Songs like "Good Kid" and "Grand Plan" talk about those feelings about being the outsider and wanting to prove your worth. Every song is a gem and the final "Bring On the Monsters" well I started crying. It is about being ready for life, because life even without Greek Myths going after you, has it's own set of monsters, and with friends and family by your side you can take them on. You got this!
Go. It is a great Musical in a great New York Off-Broadway house in a great New York neighborhood. So go and take your child or friend's children or just borrow one you kind of know and grab sushi after and feel good that you just saw The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical together.
"The action rarely flags thanks to Stephen Brackett's sharp direction; Rob Rokicki's spirited songs; Joe Tracz's lucid book, which is easy to follow even if you don't know the novel; and the smart avoidance of special effects in favor of low-fi stage craft (leaf blowers spew toilet paper to show Percy's ability to control water; Medusa dons novelty glasses with illuminated eyes). For tween audiences, this Lightning Thief is liable to steal their hearts."
Raven Snook for Time Out New York
"Delivers a lot more fun than the big-budget movie versions."
Frank Scheck for Hollywood Reporter
External links to full reviews from popular press...
Originally published on