Weekend: Music of the gods

KRISTIN STOKES, Chris McCarrell and Jorrel Javier (l-r) star in the off-Broadway musical “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.” The production, based on the popular young adult series of novels, will be presented Jan. 29 at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo provided)

“The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” will inject a modern twist into Greek mythology at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts’ Donnell Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Tickets are $44 to $89 and can be purchased at the Marathon Center box office, 200 W. Main Cross St., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or one hour before showtime; by phone at 419-423-2787; or online at mcpa.org

Premiering as a one-hour musical in 2014, an updated and expanded version of the show ran off-Broadway in 2017 before embarking on its national tour this year with a two-hour presentation with one intermission.

The show garnered three Drama Desk Award nominations (including Best Musical), and several of the original cast members are featured on the tour, including Chris McCarrell as Percy Jackson.

The story follows Percy, a 12-year-old who discovers his true father is Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. When Zeus’ lightning bolt is stolen, Percy embarks on a quest across the United States to stop a war between the gods.

Featuring a playbook by Joe Tracz with music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki, the musical features songs like “The Day I Got Expelled,” “The Minotaur/The Weirdest Dream” and “Bring on the Monsters.”

The script is based on “The Lightning Thief,” the young adult novel by Rick Riordan that kicked off the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series in 2005.

A former teacher that had taught Greek myths at the middle-school level, Riordan conceived Percy Jackson as a bedtime story for his then-second-grade son.

According to Riordan’s website, his son had just been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia, and Greek mythology was one of the only subjects in school that interested him.

Percy wound up being based, in part, on Riordan’s son.

“Making Percy ADHD and dyslexic was my way of honoring the potential of all the kids I’ve known who have those conditions,” Riordan said on his website.

“It’s not a bad thing to be different,” he continued. “Sometimes, it’s the mark of being very, very talented.

“That’s what Percy discovers about himself in ‘The Lightning Thief.’”

For more information, visit www.lightningthiefmusical.com and rickriordan.com

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