BWW Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL Electrifies Broadway Sacramento in its California Debut

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BWW Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL Electrifies Broadway Sacramento in its California DebutPercy Jackson has come to life! Our favorite demigod from the best-selling Rick Riordan series hits the stage in Sacramento for his California premiere. The Lightning Thief was nominated for 3 Drama Desk Awards during its critically acclaimed New York run, including Outstanding Musical. It comes to Broadway Sacramento in a limited 5-performance engagement through this weekend only.

With some deviations from the novels, The Lightning Thief follows young Percy Jackson, who discovers that his dad is not a deadbeat-he is actually Poseidon, the god of the sea. This makes Percy a demigod (half mortal, half god) and, therefore, quite attractive to monsters. Percy is led to Camp Half Blood, a haven for other kids like him, where he is sent on a quest. Zeus, the god of the sky, is under the impression that Percy has stolen his magical lightning bolt. Percy is tasked with finding the bolt and clearing his name. His quest takes him to the Underworld all the way in Los Angeles, where he and his friends, Grover and Annabeth, must work together to defeat and outwit monsters, Ares, and the god of death himself.

The Lightning Thief is a treasure for all ages. With a homicidal Minotaur, lightning strikes befitting Zeus, and a lively game of capture the flag, the entire family will be entertained. The unparalleled performances will keep you talking long after the curtain has closed. Reprising their original roles from New York are Chris McCarrell as Percy, Kristin Stokes as Annabeth, Sarah Beth Pfeifer as Clarisse and others, and James Hayden Rodriguez as Luke and others. Jalynn Steele brings down the house at the entrance to the Underworld as its gatekeeper, Charon, with her disco-proud rendition of "D.O.A." Jorrel Javier segues seamlessly from a nervous Grover to a hilariously drying-out god of wine, Mr. D, who has been relegated to camp director duty after a forbidden romp with a wood nymph. The real hero of the show, however, is Ryan Knowles, who deserves a quest of his own. Knowles incarnates the god of comedy, whoever that may be, in a centaur form called Chiron. A canter here and he inhabits Poseidon. A trot there and he is a terrifying Hades. Topping it off is a voice that could only come from Mount Olympus.

The Lightning Thief is a fun primer of the Greek gods that encourages further exploration into the world of mythology. Luckily, the books continue the education by next wandering into Roman territory. Meanwhile, anyone who feels a little different will appreciate the underlying message-the concept of what is "normal" is the real myth.

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical plays at the Community Center Theater through April 21. Tickets start at $30 and are available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, Sacramento, or by calling (916) 557-1999; they are also available at the Community Center Theater Box Office, 1301 L Street, Sacramento, or by calling (916) 808-5181, or online at BroadwaySacramento.com.

Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

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