Anyone hoping to get young kids to young adults interested in theatre would do well to take them to DPAC’s production of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, onstage now under the direction of Stephen Brackett.
The musical is based on the 2005 novel of a similar name by Rick Riordan. And, while it’s geared towards kids in terms of its silly humor and young cast, DPAC’s opening night, full of moms and other adults sporting “Percy Jackson” gear, is a testament to the far-reaching impact and adoration of this fun story.
The story centers around young Percy himself, hilariously and endearingly portrayed by Chris McCarrell. In the lightning-fast script, Percy quickly discovers that he is a demigod, meaning the son of a godly father and a mortal mother. His world gets turned upside down when he gets sent to a camp for “half-bloods” like himself and is tasked with finding Zeus’ lightning bolt and, thereby, preventing a major war from igniting amongst the Greek gods.
It’s a tangled tale, but ultimately a fun one that massively appeals to its target audience and beyond. And, though kids might not realize it, it’s also rather educational, subtly filling viewers in on Greek mythology, all under the guise of relatable characters and an enchanting story.
And, while young Percy, as portrayed by McCarrell, is everything viewers could hope for with his bumbling, sweet embodiment of the character, it’s not just his performance that stands out. Jorrel Javier is hilarious as both Percy’s friend Grover and the important Mr. D. Likewise, Kristin Stokes makes for a fun, feisty, feminist Annabeth, endowing the role with pure girl power.
In fact, “power” is a great word to associate with this production. In the course of the action, which is wild and every bit as fantastical as its target audience wants it to be, viewers learn that Percy’s dyslexia and ADD are not problems, but instead, “superpowers” or remnants of the god-like part of him. This is just one of the beautiful theories presented through this subtly empowering musical.
A fine combination of educational and fun and featuring some super-awesome special effects- those monsters are legit scary!- this is the perfect show to take the kids to… though adult fans will have fun as well.
We love the arts. We write about them. Founded 2018.