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How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#1
Posted: 8/14/19 at 1:51pm

I loved Be More Chill and go to all the Disney shows, etc....but The Lightning Thief seems particularly kiddie.

Does this make sense for two adults to go to?

Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#2
Posted: 8/14/19 at 2:04pm

I thought it was a charming show. I took my 12-year-old nephew, who really enjoyed it and is probably the target demographic age-wise. That said, as a forty-something child-free gay man, I wasn't bored. And I don't think it's too kiddie, either. I wouldn't have taken my younger nieces and nephews, and at the performance I attended, I didn't see many toddlers or really young kids.

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#3
Posted: 8/14/19 at 2:16pm
I’m an adult and I really enjoyed it when I saw it at the Lortel. (I’m a teacher and taught the book for years, so my familiarity with the story probably added to my enjoyment, but I still think I would have had a good time not being so familiar with the book.)
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#4
Posted: 8/14/19 at 2:28pm
I would put it on par w Spongebob. The only “cheesiness” may come from the adult actors playing kids a la Spelling Bee but without any real reason for the actors being adults. It doesn’t really do anything tonally for the show. All of the roles could be played by young teens.
Featured Actor
Featured Actor
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#5
Posted: 8/14/19 at 2:59pm
I think it’s a lot more accessible to adults than be more chill was. Less niche.
How #6
Posted: 8/14/19 at 3:56pm

I'll probably be in the majority here, but here it goes:

I'm a 27 year old female, LOVED Be more Chill, and typically love all of the shows geared towards "younger" audiences - usually just love all the hidden "adult" things they throw in and usually good messages throughout, plus usually also flashy and high energy. 

That being said, I saw Lightening Thief when it toured in New York a few months ago - went in completely blind without knowing the story at all, knowing nothing about Greek mythology, and essentially never hearing any of the songs except for one, and my thoughts were as such:

1) I had no idea what was going on for a lot of it, I was sitting far/high up and had a hard time hearing the lyrics over the louder background music. I had to wikipedia the story during intermission to catch myself up. I usually don't have this type of problem, but it was just one of those shows that was difficult for me to follow. 

2) I thought it was extremely childish, to the point where I was rolling my eyes and was embarrassed to have suggested it to my other 27 year old friend who I brought with me. We both looked at each other and was like, "well that was cute" but essentially said nothing more about it and went on with our day.  I thought it was going to be a similar vibe to Be More Chill and the other shows geared toward younger audiences, but this was really not my jam. I also found myself zoning out at parts - maybe that hard to do a little with my first point where I wasn't hearing every last line and catching some parts of the story. It may not feel quite as childish to someone who knows the story or has seen the movie/read the book prior. It may just feel nostolgic for them, but for me I felt like I was watching a show made only for teenagers to be honest. We were really glad we only spent $29 on it and would have felt like a total waste of money if we spent any more for it honestly. 

3) The singing, especially from the main actor, was AMAZING and was the only time I was fully invested. I thought the staging and set design was pretty cool though, I liked the visuals. 

Updated On: 8/14/19 at 03:56 PM
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Broadway Star
Broadway Star
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#7
Posted: 8/14/19 at 3:58pm

There is a reason it's popular with the Be More Chill crowd. It's for kids and should be at New World Stages, like BMC should have been....

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Yero my Hero
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#8
Posted: 8/14/19 at 4:53pm

I first saw the show in its 60-minute version and I saw it again at the Lortel once it was expanded to full length. I was 30 years old, had never seen the movie or read the book and only knew basic Greek mythology, and I loved it. I didn't think it was hard to follow or understand at all, the performances were great, and the stagecraft is really ingenious and charming in its low budget look -- think PETER AND THE STARCATCHER or THE 39 STEPS.


The original 60 minute version was aimed at middle schoolers, but they definitely had an eye toward a wider audience when they expanded it. Teenagers will still enjoy it, but I think adults will too.


FWIW, I hated BE MORE CHILL and SPONGEBOB -- I didn't think either show's story held up once you took away the catchy songs and stage effects. In my opinion, THE LIGHTNING THIEF works so well because the underlying story is really strong.


I know it may not be for everyone, but this 30-something adores the show and is thrilled it is making the jump to Broadway. I hope others give it a chance and don't just write it off as a kiddie show!

Nothing matters but knowing nothing matters. ~ Wicked
Everything in life is only for now. ~ Avenue Q
There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as my last. ~ Rent

"He's a tramp, but I love him."
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#9
Posted: 8/14/19 at 4:56pm

EllieRose2 said: "There is a reason it's popular with the Be More Chill crowd. It's for kids and should be at New World Stages, like BMC should have been...."

It's also the same book writer.

How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#10
Posted: 8/14/19 at 7:08pm

If you've read the book and enjoyed it, go. It's a fun show. It is targeted for a tween and teen audience, but I found it charming, and I had no desire to go see the Sponge Bob musical. I'd say it is more akin to BMC but without the older teen / adult references. It is totally harmless to take your 8 or 10 year old to, and if you don't mind those kind of shows, it is enjoyable. But if you are more into serious theatre or something like an adult type adventure plot, give it a miss. 

How "kiddie" is The Lightning Thief?#11
Posted: 8/14/19 at 11:23pm

I took my 9-year-old to see it at the beginning of the national tour, and went in totally blind with no knowledge of the books. I had mentally prepared myself for it being entirely mediocre. I spent part of the first act in a befuddled "WHAT AM I WATCHING?!?" state, but you know what? They totally won me over by the end of the show. The cast is talented, has great chemistry, and works incredibly hard from start to finish. The minimalist set is used in interesting ways. The dialogue and lyrics are pretty clever with moments of adult humor that go over the heads of tweens, and a few of the songs are quite catchy. (And huzzah for an show with an original, brand new book!)

I ended up taking my 23-year-old son to see it at the end of the tour in Boston, and he also reported being pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the show was. So I would recommend giving it a shot. I'll definitely be throwing more money at them before their run at the Longacre is up.

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