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The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

From 22 critic and 127 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Great singing, Delightful

About the show

The Lucile Lortel Theatre presents an action-packed musical based on Rick Riordan best-selling young-adult fantasy novel of the same name.  More…

Greek gods are real, and they’re ruining the life of modern-day teen Percy Jackson. In addition to his human woes, he recently found out he's a son of Poseidon. Now Percy has newly discovered powers he can’t control, monsters on his trail, and is tasked with finding Zeus’s lightning bolt to prevent a war between the gods. Normal is a myth when you’re a demigod. Best for ages 7 and up.

Front Row Center

“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? Yup that’s ‘The Lightning Thief.’ This production is acted and sung as well as any Broadway production…Fun and magic, those are the two words that best describe this production…Every song is a gem.” Full Review


"This production works on both levels: it’s accessible to the uninitiated mere mortals who want a good show, and it’s chock-full of things to love for the most ardent of demigod fans...It’s really impressive, considering the shoestring budget the show’s running on, how much they accomplished...Chris McCarrell is an absolutely flawless Percy...Great music, great acting, and a great story combine to make it one of the best nights of theatre we’ve seen." Full Review


“‘The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical’ is a clever entertainment from an exciting novel. Faithful to the source material, it should please both those who have read the book and those who have not. Unlike the similar 'Harry Potter' films, this story is an excellent introduction—or review—of Greek mythology made relevant for our own time. The remarkable special effects are clever in their simple solutions to the story's requirements.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“This low-budget off-Broadway musical thoroughly charms…Providing ample compensation is the amusing dialogue, which proves just as funny for adults as children, and the tuneful, pop-rock score…Both the book and score feature plenty of funny gags…McCarrell makes for an engagingly plucky Percy. The rest of the seven-person ensemble, most of them playing multiple roles, are equally terrific…An excellent if irreverent introduction to Greek mythology.” Full Review


“Director Stephen Brackett keeps this two-hour show moving at warp speed, one song after another advancing the plot and hysterical performances filling the gaps in between…Along with the music, the show's special effects will captivate young and old…‘The Lightning Thief' is a great show to get kids 8 and up engaged with a full-length live theater production. " Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“More than clever; it’s an exuberant and exciting story that, along the way, teaches ancient history with wit and without sense of pretense. The language is smart without being smart ass and the characters are easily identifiable to both the young and old in the audience. There is something for everyone in ‘The Lightning Thief’…The songs are carefully crafted to express character and plot progression…Although mostly formulaic, the numbers have sufficient wit and are beautifully arranged.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

"The zippy production addresses sexism, loneliness and parental neglect, but champions friendship and smart, independent choices—at lightning speed. Director Stephen Brackett makes the most of low-tech elements, utilizing mood lighting and creative costumes to create a parallel universe of monsters, centaurs and gods. He’s also blessed with a versatile cast...The dialogue is funny and the story, like its engaging, energetic lead, has important messages for adults and teens alike." Full Review

Motherhood Later

"A slam-dunk crowd-pleaser for fans of the book and others...The story is action-packed and compelling, with both warmth and wisecracks, and the added bonus of an empowering takeaway message...Chris McCarrell does Percy proud. With his leading young man looks, strong voice, agility and stage presence, he is a sword-wielding talent to keep your eyes on...McCarrell is well supported by a versatile ensemble who play multiple roles." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"A deliciously dorky new musical...Sure to win over the books’ young fans, the books’ grown-up fans, and anyone in between...Embraces the clever energy and fun teen angst of the books. The songs skillfully flesh out the characters and their relationships to lend the play stronger emotional weight all while keeping the energy and enjoyment high...The main trio’s winning performances, as well as those of their fellow demigods, play up their characters’ trials in thoroughly endearing ways." Full Review

Pop Culturalist

"A charming off-Broadway musical that will appeal to all ages...If you’re not familiar with the story beforehand, it may be a bit of a struggle, at first, to follow the quick-paced plot. Once it gets going, though, the show is so engaging that it doesn’t matter...It has all the right ingredients—the combination of stellar words, music, and acting with the inventive set and prop use—to make 'The Lightning Thief' a long-lasting and successful show...Truly a delight." Full Review

Mommy Poppins

"With amazing talent, catchy songs, heaps of humor, and a relatable story line with themes kids can relate to, demigod or mere mortal, it's a must-see for fans...The songs are witty, fun, and resonate with kids of all ages...Though this is a fantastical tale about ancient Greek gods and modern-day demigods, the theme is universal—adolescents struggling to find their place while trying to prove themselves to their parents, using their intellect and special gifts to make tough choices." Full Review

The Knockturnal

“This musical, based upon Rick Riordan‘s beloved book, is full of sarcasm, action, confusion, angst, and bravery...This production is filled with incredibly talented New York actors…McCarrell is a young Drew Gehling, charming the pants off of every ensemble member, and all those watching in the audience…‘The Lightning Thief’ is sure to invite fans of all ages, making everyone who enters its space laugh, possibly cry (?), and feel like a little kid all over again.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Delivered with plenty of brio thanks to Tracz's wisecracking, incident-rich script and the energized music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki...Under Stephen Brackett's buoyant staging, aided by Patrick McCollum's caffeinated choreography, Percy's saga makes a smooth transition to the stage...'The Lightning Thief' is not intended for couples seeking a Mom and Dad's night out, but you can take the kids and feel fairly certain that you'll have a good time, too." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“An energetic, generally entertaining rock musical for the seven-years-old-and-up crowd…'The Lightning Thief' is a fast-paced, decibel-blasting, theatrically frisky take on the original story...The show...adopts an air of deliberate, even self-deprecatory playfulness...Rokicki's conventional rock a listenable, efficient engine for keeping the show moving but most of its songs are of the undistinguished, volume-up variety; only two even hint at standard balladry.” Full Review

Time Out New York

"Underneath its fantasy trappings is a relatable coming-of-age tale about growing up and finding your place in the world...The seven cast members, though too mature to totally convince as angsty adolescents, are charismatic and energetic, and handle the required quick character changes smoothly...The action rarely flags thanks to Brackett's sharp direction; Rokicki's spirited songs; Tracz's lucid book...For tween audiences, this 'Lightning Thief' is liable to steal their hearts." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Writer Joe Tracz has excellently adapted Riordan’s novel for the stage by infusing wit and nonstop action into the high-stakes quest. Director Stephen Brackett creates a playful world...McCarrell is a charming young actor with a golden voice and swoon-worthy good looks...Much of Rob Rokicki’s music and lyrics are drowned out amidst the incredibly loud musical accompaniment...Audio errors aside, audience members will delight in this theatrical adaptation of Rick Riordan’s popular novel." Full Review

Manhattan With a Twist

“In other hands this could have been cheesy; in Brackett’s team’s hands, it’s exhilarating…The battles are fun, the dialogue is endearing, the lighting design is captivating, and the sound effects add so much to the environment that losing yourself in the play becomes easy. The relationships between characters are enjoyable…The musical numbers, which are hit-and miss-throughout the production, are elevated by a cast that is just having such a great time it’s infectious." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

“The cast is an incredibly talented group…The direction by Brackett is fun and keeps the pace at God-like speed. The choreography by McCollum is unimpressive and looked a little messy. Book by Tracz will appeal to teens and will keep their parents from being bored. The music and lyrics by Rokicki are tuneful and toe-tapping...The overall messages of belonging, community and acceptance make you forgive any of the show's faults.” Full Review

Theater Life

“A fast-paced fun filled delight…The story moves along at rapid speed spiced with juvenile dialogue that is witty, many sight gags, and an infectious pop/rock score filled with songs which sound alike, but nonetheless put forth some universally positive messages for everyone…Chris McCarrell is appealing in the leading role turning in an engagingly high-spirited performance that starts out strong and sustains with passion throughout the evening.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s innocent enough and a fair amount of fun, although moments border on the ridiculous and silly…Some characterizations are played primarily for laughs and are a bit over-the-top…The direction seems to swing wildly from over-the-top clowning to more sincere moments of feeling…There is a good show hidden among the scaffolding and high school production-level kitsch on stage...It will take some work to raise this show from pedestrian to God-like." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"With an energetic pop-rock score and a text that heavily taps into the real-world themes, 'The Lightning Thief' has the potential for greatness. It just misses the mark at times...If you're unfamiliar with the source material, the way some facts unfold becomes confusing...The magical world of 'The Lightning Thief' was subpar...It desired flash and pizzazz...'The Lightning Thief' is meant for the stage. And this production shows what it can be. Kids will love it. Parents will tolerate it." Full Review

Off Off Online

“With a novel’s-worth of ground to cover in two hours, the production favors incident over emotion, and potentially impactful moments are shorn of any dramatic heft…The routine pop-rock score and facile lyrics too often impede the narrative, instead of deepening it…The show may not sing, but McCarrell does, with brio. His reedy, falsetto and feverish buoyancy make the show watchable…There’s not much lightning in this ‘Thief,’ but the cast brings the thunder.” Full Review

Great writing, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Must see

See it if you love the Lightning Thief and you love theatre

Don't see it if you hate theatre

Clever, Delightful, Great acting

See it if You read Percy Jackson, are witty, and enjoy a fast paced well-rehearsed musical. Songs are great! One of my favorites!

Don't see it if You are a bore.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky

See it if You like the books and want to see some ingenious staging. The music is catchy also.

Don't see it if you are looking for a show with elaborate set pieces or big-budget special effects.

Clever, Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great singing

See it if Come on, It's a Percy Jackson musical! What's not to love, the books are great, the movies are meh, and the musical is great!

Don't see it if You weren't a fans of the books or the movies and don't want to have your mind blown.

Ambitious, Clever, Quirky, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You are a fan of the books (it's a must-see if you're familiar with the series) or if you're looking for a fun evening out

Don't see it if You don't enjoy more kid-oriented humor, are looking for something with deep acting, or don't like over-the-top stagings

Delightful, Funny, Masterful, Must see, Great writing

See it if You're a fan of the books, or you just want to see an incredible show about a modern take on Greek mythology.

Don't see it if You can't take mythology or teenagers seriously.

Epic, Entertaining, Hilarious, Refreshing, Great writing

See it if You are a fan of the books, or if you like musicals, or if you like a really fun time. Oh and if you like Greek mythology.

Don't see it if Didn't like the books, don't like Greek mythology, or don't like a fun musical.

Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Great acting, Quirky

See it if You liked the book enough to hate the movie!

Don't see it if You want something more serious.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You are a fan of the books, because this show does them justice. Or you like creative casting with great actors!

Don't see it if You aren't a fan of fantasy stories that are somewhat family oriented

Enchanting, Great singing, Great writing, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You love the books. It was a slam dunk for its target audience and left me wanting them to adapt the next four.

Don't see it if You've never read the books. Watching the movie doesn't count. This was aimed squarely at fans.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You like entertaining Mythological comedies. These performers voices were superb!

Don't see it if If you don't like Mythological comedies.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Masterful

See it if you are a fan of the author...or even if you never heard of him, like me. This musical is wonderful with a great cast in multiple roles.

Don't see it if you don't like to see young people singing and dancing and working their behinds off to bring you a great show.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Quirky

See it if If you wanna sit back and have a fun, entertaining, evening. And go with kids who follow the books. They will have a blast.!!!!

Don't see it if If you want to see a Broadway type musical. That's not what it is.

Entertaining, Clever, Ambitious, Great staging, Delightful

See it if You like bright lights and expose and fun and gods and mortals and young actors singing and stage combat. It was really enjoyable!!

Don't see it if You don't like fantastical musicals about gods and monsters. You want a serious drama. This is adventurous and a bit young actors

Funny, Entertaining, Great singing, Epic, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy the Lightning Theif Books and love rock musicals!

Don't see it if You're not a fan of fantasy.

Great singing, Funny, Absorbing, Delightful, Refreshing

See it if You like Percy Jackson and want to see an awesome show with awesome music!

Don't see it if There's really no reason not to!

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You are interested in seeing a show with excellent acting and if you have kids. Try to sit in the first few rows as they interact ..

Don't see it if You don't like musicals.

Edgy, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Charming

See it if you're down for a fun, rocking teen quest/self-discovery story. TYA but it's for everyone. The kids in the audience seemed to have a blast.

Don't see it if you don't like theatre for young audiences, Greek mythology, rock musicals, or didn't like these specific books.

Also I wasn't familiar with the Percy Jackson books before this but I'd lik... Read more Read less

Delightful, Funny, Great singing, Refreshing, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an outstanding off-Broadway production with a great young cast; better than expected; Drama Desk best musical nomination

Don't see it if you don't like shows intended for young audiences

Smart, Upbeat, Fun as hades, Rocking, Refreshing

See it if you can dig "(adults will like it too!)" material and are ready to embark on a wacky, well-crafted quest with some insanely game performers.

Don't see it if YA fantasy isn't your bag.

Also I've never read the Percy Jackson series, but as a longtime fan of the... Read more Read less

Really fun, Charming, Quirky, Surprising

See it if you love the book series, the movies, rock operas, Greek mythology, and/or quirky off-Broadway shows that are beyond clever.

Don't see it if you want something intense or serious, or if stories about teens/self-discovery aren't your cup of tea. But seriously, go see it!

Delightful, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing, Enchanting

See it if you are or have a young teen to see it with; really nice for YA crowd

Don't see it if you insist on adult fare

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You loved the movie and the book.

Don't see it if If you didn't like the movie and the book

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Refreshing

See it if You are a Camp Half-blood junkie, or if you are looking for a family friendly affordable show.

Don't see it if You are expecting an epic production with demi-gods flying on stage.

Also Highly entertaining, this hidden gem of a show explores the beloved 1s... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Epic

See it if you like shows based on popular material or are curious how an epic series can be scaled down into a musical that works!

Don't see it if you're not a fan of light, lean shows meant for younger audiences.

Cast & Creatives (17)