Spring Musical | The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
by Sarah Formica
Bring on the monsters! On March 2, 3, and 4, Nottingham presented The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical. This was the first musical performed back in the Nottingham auditorium after two years of football field productions due to COVID-19. The show received great reception from students, families, and community members.
The show follows teenage Percy Jackson (Evan Vistoso, Grade 12) as he realizes why he has never fit in with his classmates: he is a demigod! Also called half-bloods, people like Percy are mortal children of the Greek gods. Percy is sent to Camp Half-Blood, a safe space for demigods, and learns that his father is Poseidon (Nicholas Paccillo, Grade 12). After finding this out, Zeus, king of the gods, becomes suspicious that Percy has stolen his missing lightning bolt. To prove Zeus wrong, Percy embarks on a mission with lovable satyr, Grover (Daniel Richarme, Grade 10), and tough daughter of Athena, Annabeth (Gianna Vetrano, Grade 11), to find the bolt and prevent Zeus from starting a war between the gods.
Nottingham has an abundance of talent that was made evident in the show’s entertaining scenes and musical numbers. Most members of the musical’s cast claimed that their favorite number was “Put You In Your Place,” performed by Clarisse (Chaniece Taylor, Grade 11), daughter of the god of war, Ares. “We incorporated Step in our scene, and it made it unique to Nottingham; you would never see another scene like it.” - Tiana Smith, Grade 11. Another popular number was “Campfire Song,” a song about the character’s grievances with their godly parents. Ms. Sullivan, the props crew director, says “the song represented the family bond they had made throughout the play season.” Another beloved song was “DOA,” sung by Charon (Jayla Williams, Grade 10). It was sung at the gateway to the underworld telling Percy, Annabeth, and Grover that once they enter, they can’t leave (they’re Dead On Arrival). It was high energy and had celebrity appearances. Gianna said that it “had really cool visuals and was overall just a lot of fun to perform.”
A show with this much music requires special care of your mind and body. Specifically, it was important that the cast kept their voices in top shape. The consensus was that the best way to prepare for the show was to drink hot tea and keep voices down throughout the day leading up to it so as not to cause strain. Taking the time to warm up their voices was also very important to the cast.
Upon being asked what the members of the musical learned throughout the season, answers varied. “All it takes is confidence,” says James Avila, 10th grader and first time performer. “I learned how to adapt” - Ka’Niya Horton, Grade 12. Many people said that they learned how to be a part of a family. That’s a great way to describe the atmosphere within the cast, crew, and pit.
Playing characters close in age to themselves, the cast was able to bring their own experiences to their performance. But what part of their characters can they bring into their everyday lives? “Playing Silena, I learned how to do a lot with a little. I put all of my energy into my character no matter what I was doing during the scene. It gave me a new sense of dedication and being noticed made my heart happy” - Ava Estrada, Grade 12. Daniel says that Grover taught him to “Never give up! No matter what happens, you must keep going, and don’t stop driving!” So many lessons were learned from this show.
Putting on a musical isn’t always easy. When it comes to the cast, its one challenge is “keeping everything fresh and bringing a new element to your performances” - Chaniece Taylor, Grade 11. For the crew, “The hardest part is not having the best equipment but we always can find ways around it” - Mars Fuller, Grade 9. For everyone involved, it was always important “making sure everyone is on the same page and being efficient with time” - Nick Bono, Grade 12.
It is clear that the members of the school musical cast, crew, and pit made memories this season that will last a lifetime. From gods to mortals, from monsters to satyrs, they made the best out of everything. Nottingham’s The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is one for the history books.