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BWW Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL at Hot Springs School District Joyce L. Littleton Craft Auditorium

This marks the musical's Central Arkansas premiere.

BWW Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL at Hot Springs School District Joyce L. Littleton Craft Auditorium

I always enjoy going to Hot Springs, but this time my Percy Jackson enthusiast son insisted that we needed to go see THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL with the Hot Springs School District 7-12 Theatre troupe presented in the beautiful Joyce L. Littleton Craft Auditorium, 401 Emory Street, in Hot Springs, and I'm so glad we did. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time I have heard of this musical being performed in Arkansas, which is super cool. The show was upbeat, the dancers were great, and the music was rockin'!

For those unfamiliar with Percy Jackson, he is a teenage demigod (half God, half human), who gets targeted by monsters and other Gods because they think he stole Zeus' lightning. Percy ends up at Camp Half Blood, where he meets other demigods, learns how to fight, makes a few friends and goes on a quest to keep the Gods from fighting and rescue his mother. The musical is slightly different than the movie, of course, but the gist of it is still there.

Directed by Kaitlin Potts, it was great to watch this large cast of performers intertwine with each other, and they looked like they were having a lot of fun. Setting the demigods aside, I'm sure it wasn't much of a stretch to relate to angsty teenagers, since they are all teenagers themselves. Kian McMahan was an excellent Percy. It was easy to root for the troubled hero who set out to save the world. His singing and dancing were great, but his chemistry with his fellow actors is what stood out the most. Whit Long's Annabeth gave a girl power kind of feel to her character. However, the dedication to the character award goes to Bryce Cunningham-Nunn for his portrayal of Chiron. I loved how he trotted around the stage. It was perfect!

The musical has some catchy numbers in it. Clarisse's (Danielle Rivera) song "Put You in Your Place" was fun, especially with the toilet paper shooters; I loved when all the kids gathered together to sing "The Campfire Song" to discuss how horrible their godly parents were; andBWW Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL at Hot Springs School District Joyce L. Littleton Craft Auditorium shoutout to Mya Sanders who was the featured singer in "The Oracle" and "D.O.A." That girl can sing! Also, there were several numbers where the stage was covered with some very talented dancers. Together they all brought the story to life and made you want to be part of the journey.

The music has a more modern feel to it with instruments that lean more towards rock. I loved that the group was on stage jamming it out with the rest of the cast. Led by Michael Sandlin on BWW Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL at Hot Springs School District Joyce L. Littleton Craft Auditorium guitar, the band of high school students also had Ethan Abel on second guitar, Alex King on drums, Abigail Hedrick on piano and Landon Demaio on bass.

Hot Springs has a thriving program with a massive auditorium. To see what's next for Hot Springs Thespian Troupe 78, follow them on Facebook.

Photo credit: Aaron Brewer

BWW Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL at Hot Springs School District Joyce L. Littleton Craft Auditorium



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