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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical"

Another fact about yours truly: I have always been fascinated by Greek mythology and I played “Dungeons & Dragon” when I was a teenager. I love the legends and elaborate stories that tried to explain natural events, and those stories still get told today with a hit book series based around a young man who is part god, part human. The first book in that series is also a musical that is currently touring the country with a very quick stop at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas.

“The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is based on the book by Rick Riordan and brought to the stage by Joe Tracz with Chris McCarrell as the Percy Jackson, Jorrell Javier as Grover, Ryan Knowles as Chiron, Sarah Beth Pfeifer as Clarisse, James Hayden Rodriguez as Luke, Kristen Stokes as Annabeth and Jalynn Steele as Sally. Taking place in present day Long Island NY, the story is based around Percy, a troubled teenager with a tough home life. After an incident on a field trip, Percy finds out that his father is a Greek god, which makes him a demi-god, so he goes on a quest with others like him to retrieve stolen lightning that could cause a war between the gods in an adventure about family, friends and life.

I was blown away by the production value here, where there is really only one set piece but the way the props are changed change transitioned from once scene to the next well. The lighting was amazing to say the least and could be one of the best I have ever seen in a stage production and are alone a reason for me to recommend this production. The cast is also good overall with no performances that are even subpar. McCarrell plays Jackson well but did not really blow me away; however, there is very strong work by Javier in his two roles and Knowles in his multiple roles that reminded me of a voiceover narrator from something like Nat-Geo or NPR.

At a little over two hours (not counting the intermission), this did not seem too long or drag with no points where I felt they added a meaningless song to make the production longer. The thing I really liked is how many of the songs had meaning and added to the storyline without being brainless, translating the material to the stage really well, so I definitely recommend “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” as center floor seating.

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