Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF at West Valley Arts is Satisfyingly Exhilarating

THE LIGHTNING THIEF plays through June 29, 2024. 

By: Jun. 13, 2024
Review: THE LIGHTNING THIEF at West Valley Arts is Satisfyingly Exhilarating
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There are three big reasons to see THE LIGHTNING THIEF at West Valley Arts: 1. The show is a hidden gem with an exhilarating pop score that adults, teens, and kids can all enjoy together. 2. As always, West Valley Arts has put on a fabulous production in one of the best theatrical venues in the state. 3. After a heart-stopping narrow miss in which the West Valley Performing Arts Center was almost doomed to demolition, they still need all the support that can be mustered to show the city council and community why this space and these people are doing something important. 

THE LIGHTNING THIEF (book by Joe Tracz, music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki) played on Broadway in 2019 after a successful off Broadway run and national tour. It’s based on the popular novel by Rick Riordan, which has been adapted to a 2010 movie and a 2023 Disney+ series. After he’s unfairly expelled from school, 12-year-old Percy Jackson is sent to Camp Half-Blood, where he learns his father is a Greek god and finds himself caught up in a quest to save the world.

As Percy, Ren Cottam exudes the internal turmoil and grit of a young man who hungers for acceptance and desires to be the best he can be, especially in his chill-inducing solo “Good Kid.” 

Other enjoyable performances come from Hanna Schneck as Annabeth, Kile Allen as Grover, Zack Grob as Luke, Mackenzie Skye Pedersen as Sally Jackson/Charon, David Weekes as Mr. Brunner/Chiron, and the versatile, energetic ensemble. 

Director Jennifer Parker Hohl makes good use of the rotating stage, collaborating with choreographer Izzy Arrieta and fight choreographer Spencer Hohl to create dynamic, dazzling musical numbers and scenes.

Lighting designer Savannah Garlick, scenic designer Morgan Golightly and costume designer Alicia Kondrick have elevated the production to another level with intriguing visual representations of gods and creatures, along with bold colors and shapes that help transport the audience on a satisfying emotional journey.

THE LIGHTNING THIEF plays through June 29, 2024.  For tickets, call the box office at 801-965-5140 or visit

Photo Credit: West Valley Arts. Photo by Laurie Baird.


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