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The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Clever, 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. 

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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.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“‘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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


"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

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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Great acting, Disappointing, Insipid, Kids' stuff

See it if You are a child.

Don't see it if You are an adult.

Delightful, Refreshing, Entertaining, Fun, Imaginative

See it if you want a fun and imaginative staging of The Percy Jackson series as a musical.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of the Percy Jackson series or Greek mythology, or care about teenage stories.

Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You are a fan of the books and enjoy quirky shows. It was enjoyable and had great acting and staging.

Don't see it if You don't like very lighthearted shows, or shows for kids.

Clever, Delightful, Epic, Great acting, Great singing

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.

Riveting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you're a fan of the books or greek mythology. Or rock musicals.

Don't see it if you don't like hipster-esque production value

Great acting, Entertaining, Fun, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if you'd like to see a well-written show intended for kids, or Chris McCarrell's performance which is at once both super honest and surprising.

Don't see it if you can't get behind a show that is ultimately meant for kids.

Delightful, Hilarious, Catchy score, Faithful adaptation

See it if you're a fan of the book. Unlike the film, this does not disappoint! The creators have managed to produce a delightfully faithful adaptation

Don't see it if you're looking for something serious. This is a fun, family show. So, grouchy people (like the man who sat next to me last night), stay home

Edgy, Quirky, Refreshing, Charming, Entertaining

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

Clever, Entertaining, Literary, Adolescent

See it if You are under 18 and a fan of the YA lit series , this is a must see.

Don't see it if You are neither of those things

Funny, Delightful, Epic, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like the books! You love Chris McCarrell or George Salazar. With kids. Want a fun adventure story with some great songs!

Don't see it if Don't like shows with small set/casts. Want a realistic story. Don't enjoy musicals about high schoolers

Disappointing, Silly, over amplified, unfinished

See it if like kid lit and the Percy novels, have patience for high school musical quality work, have teenagers who are fans

Don't see it if you want musical sophistication and a "finished" product worthy of a potential move to Broadway.

Also Good cast who are having lots of fun. The teen audience loved it. Fema... Read more Read less

Quirky, Really fun, Charming, 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!

Enchanting, Refreshing, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

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.

Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you're a tween/teen, a fan of the Percy Jackson series, or want to see something new and entertaining.

Don't see it if you're a curmudgeon

Also Far better than the Disney film, this show was a thoroughly enjoyable ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Dizzying, Enchanting, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if you are a fan of the Percy Jackson books, you enjoy loud rock scores, you're willing to follow a jumpy plot with few physical sets,

Don't see it if don't like loud music, don't like songs aimed at a teenage or younger audience or watching attractive young people bounce around

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Kid-friendly

See it if you like clever adaptations of Greek mythology. Great performances, spot-on humor, solid rock music. Great for pre-teens and adults!

Don't see it if you are looking for a serious take on Greek myths, avoid bright lights and rock concerts, and forgot what it's like to be a teen.

Also Evidently this is based on one of a series of best-selling books about... Read more Read less

Funny, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You loved the books and want to see a clever musical adaptation and if you enjoy piece-meal set designs that require creative stage magic

Don't see it if You want serious theater.

Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Enjoyable

See it if You're a fan of the book series by Rick Riordan and enjoy YA type shows. Also if you enjoy mythology.

Don't see it if You're looking for deep, meaningful adult type shows. This is a great family show to take the kids to.

Funny, Clever, Masterful, Entertaining, Great singing

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, Quirky, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if From the young adult Jackson franchise, musicalization is witty, fast paced and intelligent Well sung & acted intro into Greek mythology

Don't see it if Energy flags in 2nd act (a few songs are repetitious) & lack of production values may be bothersome Ending feels slack rather than earned

Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

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

Dizzying, Quirky, Somewhat confusing., Teen oriented.

See it if're a fan of the source material. You are a teen , new to theater. You like broad electric guitar based musicals.

Don't see it if want more orchestra adult music. You want high production values in a musical. Another teen looking for parental love bores ya.

Fun, High energy, Great voices, Best for youths

See it if you like a high energy show, with fun upbeat rock music. Great voices. Perfect for ages 8-14.

Don't see it if You are expecting an adult geared production. The props and costumes felt like an innovative college production. But talent was great.

Delightful, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoy a fresh take on Greek Mythology; children/teens in your life who love the books; strong vocals

Don't see it if You want a super polished show with expensive sets or a large production

Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

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.

Cast & Creatives (17)