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Percy Jackson proves lightning strikes twice with Broadway show
It may have been a while since fans thought about Percy Jackson or Rick Riordan's Greek mythology-adjacent YA series kickstarted by the 2005 novel The Lightning Thief. Like since 2013, perhaps. But somehow, a musical based on the first book (not the Logan Lerman-starring pair of films) has been playing since 2017. Premiering off-Broadway, with a national tour that began this year at Chicago's Oriental Theatre, the musical has earned rave reviews (really) and now a berth on Broadway.
According to Deadline, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical starts its limited engagement at Broadway's Longacre Theatre on Sept. 20. The show — which features a book written by Joe Tracz, music by Rob Rokicki, and direction from Stephen Brackett — gives Poseidon's son a new lease on life after his movie series fizzled after two films.
After directors Chris Columbus and Thor Freudenthal failed to spark rampant fandom after Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, a sequel was canned and the series went dormant. Disney now owns the rights since its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, so a reboot is possible. But for the here and now, fans must head to the stage.
There they'll find a similar plot to the first film, just with more rock singing. Zeus is still mad about his missing bolt, and a war is brewing. Demigod Jackson is tasked with clearing his name and proving his worth. Did anyone just hear the theme to Disney's Hercules? But audiences have been loving it, with the cast album hitting the top spot on iTunes' soundtrack list and the show earning Drama Desk Award nominations over its sold-out off-Broadway run.
The book, meanwhile, has been on The New York Times Bestseller list for 500 weeks, so it seems that there are still plenty of diehards out there continuing to make the series a more permanent fixture in the world of genre than its big-screen adaptations may led some to believe.
Not much is known about the changes taking place with the musical's move to Broadway. With seven stars to fill the 47-plus characters of the musical, there's some room for big names to make their way in, but if The Lightning Thief keeps going with what it's done so far, it'll continue to find success under the radar. Maybe that's how some middling adaptations need to find their fans. Where's the musical for John Carter?
Ticket presales for The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical's 16-week Broadway run start on Aug. 21.