What To Expect From The Off-Broadway Musical Adaption Of 'The Lightning Thief'

What To Expect From The Off-Broadway Musical Adaption Of 'The Lightning Thief'

An analysis based on the musical's three-year development.
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Earlier last week, Percy Jackson found his way back into the headlines despite the last movie adaption of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series' release in 2013 meeting poor reviews and the character himself becoming a minor character in Rick Riordan's current series about the Greek gods, "The Trials of Apollo." On Tuesday, the author revealed on his blog that Percy would be heading Off-Broadway to the Lucille Lortel Theatre in "The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical," which, as the name suggests, will be a stage adaption of the first book in the series. Though this was the first that many heard of a stage adaption, the new musical will actually be a rewritten and extended version of an adaptation that premiered in the same theater in the summer of 2014. While the version of the musical premiering this spring will feature a new score and updated script to fill about an hour of additional runtime, we do know enough from the original and what's been released about the new adaption to make a few guesses at how the production is going to go.

The press release on Tuesday may not have told us much, but it did reveal a few intriguing details, the most exciting of which may be the casting of Chris McCarrell as Percy. Best known for his portrayal of Marius in the Broadway revival of "Les Mis," a role I was fortunate enough to see him in last summer. Chris McCarrell definitely has the youthful voice and energy that are necessary to Percy's character along with the ability to show the downcast, dejected side of him that the earlier books tend to focus on, all of which is easy to see in "Good Kid," the song posted with the press release. The release also revealed that the musical will keep the low-budget aesthetic of the original and that this version will "flesh out characters, deepen relationships and include more of the quest," according to Theaterworks representative Barbara Pasternack.

The main source of excitement among fans, though, is not what we've learned from the press release, but what we already know from the original version of the musical. My sister and I saw the show twice in its first life, once in New York and once with the original national tour cast, and found both times that the production was very clearly made by and for people who know and love the story. Despite being only an hour long, the musical was able to make references to books throughout both series, including Bianca appearing in the Lotus Hotel and a subtle nod to Percy and Annabeth's fate in the book that had been most recently released at the time, "The House of Hades," and knew exactly which moments and relationships were important to highlight and capture, like the chapter "We Capture a Flag" becoming an electric duet between Clarisse and Annabeth, or Percy and Sally's visit to Montauk being given its own song, "Strong," to highlight their relationship. The writers also seem to understand that a musical is one of the most ideal ways to adapt the Percy Jackson series, since theater allows for Percy's narration in a natural way that most other mediums would struggle with. Monologues, soliloquies, and the like are made to illustrate the interior mind, allowing for the first line of the book to act as the first line Percy sings to his audience. The first page that Percy dedicates to warning his readers of what may come of reading the book is given to a combination of Percy and a Greek chorus that spends the opening song warning him and the audience of what is to come. Whether or not these moments actually make it into the new version of the musical (though I'm confident that at least "Strong" will make an appearance, since the phrase "be strong" comes up in "Good Kid"), they are signs that the writers are aware of the content they are adapting from and know what it is about the books that made it a staple for a lot of people's childhoods.

Hopefully, more info on the stage adaption will come out in the coming weeks, especially info on the casting on Annabeth and Grover. Whether or not that happens before tickets go on sale January 31st, based on the early productions of the musical, I know I'll definitely be looking to buy a ticket for this spring. For the info that has come out on the production so far, be sure to read Rick Riordan's blog post on the subject or visit the musical's website.

Cover Image Credit: Westport Now

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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