The day after my last finals, I hopped on a bus and headed to New York City so I could go see "The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical." Yep, you heard me right. I saved enough money and planned a short trip alone all the way in NYC just to see the off-Broadway show not once, not twice, but three times. And now I am absolutely obsessed. The last show is May 6th, but it is not to late to give the musical a chance- the cast album comes out on June 30th and is sure to be absolutely amazing. Now I'm taking a moment to explain why this production is so special. Show your support for it because it deserves nothing less than to be brought back to an off-Broadway theater or to Broadway itself.
1. Appeal to all audiences
I have never seen an audience with such diverse age groups. The show has an amazing ability to target all ages- young children, adults, and college kids like me. Moreover, it fulfills both die-hard Percy Jackson fans and theater-goers new to the story.
The chemistry between each and every actor on stage is incredible. It allows them to truly highlight the nuances of their characters and their interactions with one another. The carefully thought out representation of the relationship between Percy and Annabeth, for instance, is subtle yet evident because of the connections made during the show.
3. The feels, though. The feels.
Even thought it is filled with hilarious moments that cause much laughter in the theater, the musical also takes a step back to highlight a wide range of emotions. It does not wash aside the complexities of how the characters are feeling, and through the brilliant acting, the audience feels them, too.
4. "My Grand Plan" and "D.O.A."
These songs are some highlights of the show. Kristin Stokes (Annabeth) sings "My Grand Plan," a noteworthy number that reflects Annabeth's strength, determination, and even vulnerability. After each show that I went to, I always heard girls talking about how much they loved and related to the song. Another showstopper was Charon's number, played by the amazingly talented Carrie Compere. Compere also played other roles, but Charon's "D.O.A." is a brilliant entertaining surprise that always stuns the audience and leaves them cheering.
5. The toilet paper, etc
Okay, let me explain this one. The show does not have the budget of a Broadway show, but it makes up for it in wonderfully entertaining ways. Since Percy is the son of Poseidon (as he proudly sings in another catchy song), and drowning the stage in water isn't an option, toilet paper is shot out instead. It even reaches the audience, a fun touch to the already fun show. A similar situation happened when a bus exploded, reaching the audience once more.
6. Chris McCarrell
Chris is Percy Jackson. Literally, he is Percy. Nobody could be better suited for the role or capture the complexities of the character quite like he does. Check him out yourself here if you don't believe me, and get ready to become absolutely obsessed. I could easily write a whole article about how why Chris is the greatest, but I'll spare you. For now...
7. George Salazar
I have come to the conclusion that "George Salazar" is a synonym for "an extremely talented, hilarious, and all-around super sweet human being." He plays Grover and Mr. D, earning the most laughs from the audience with his delightfully funny contrasting portrayals of the two characters. He is definitely a star of the show.
8. True to the book
While it has been quite a few years since I read the books, I am not the only one who finds the musical to be a worthy true rendition of the novel. Fans all over were disappointed by the movie but are thrilled with this musical. From the plot itself to having a blonde Annabeth, it is more than they could have asked for.
9. Twitter account slays
This is a bit off-track, but hey, it deserves some attention. The musical's official twitter account, @LTMusical, is super helpful if you have any questions. More importantly, whoever runs the account is skilled at subtly (or not so subtly) bashing the movie. It's great. And if you tag them in a sarcastic tweet about the musical, don't be surprised if they respond with a killer comeback.
10. You're guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face
No matter how skeptical you are going in to the musical, you'll most definitely be enthusiastically cheering and applauding by the end. Simply put, it is a lovely show filled with laughter and fun. I know that a musical about Percy Jackson might seem weird. Not many musicals have a singing centaur, monsters, or god with a Hawaiian shirt. Like I said, weird. It is brilliant, though, so if you look into it and decide you want more, order the cast album here. You won't regret it.