The Blue Ridge Cappies is a program combining theater and journalism for LCPS students involved in the theater program. The Times-Mirror will be publishing reviews written by students.
Here is a Cappies review of the performance of "The Lightning Thief" at Loudoun Valley High School on March 11:
What if the Greek gods were real and had half-mortal kids? What if all of the Greek monsters and myths were not mythical at all? This fantasy was explored in Loudoun Valley High School's production of "The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical," written by Joe Tracz and Rob Rokicki, adapted from the bestselling book, "The Lightning Thief," by Rick Riordan.
The story begins with Percy, portrayed by Ben Demase, being expelled from school. Percy is then sent to Camp Half-Blood, where he learns that his father is Poseidon, the god of the sea. With this new information, Percy must set on a quest to find Zeus's missing lightning bolt to prevent a war between the gods.
This performance was a spectacle of masterful storytelling. Everything from the lighting, costumes, music, and character choices were expertly executed. The lighting designer, Joseph Felt, used character-specific colors that made the stage come alive. Felt manipulated the stage by creating small moments inside Percy's mind with a subtle spotlight during "Good Kid", and by creating big moments with lighting, such as when the company sang "Bring on the Monsters." This number featured layering of vocals by Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and the Ensemble, was an impactful finale to the show.
Leading the show, Ben Demase embodied the essence of Percy. His voice was well-suited to the edginess of this pop-rock musical, and added depth to Percy's 12-year old angst. Annabeth, portrayed by Roguen Pricer, commanded the stage, especially during the capture the flag song, "Put You in Your Place." Grover, portrayed by Bridget McNally, had excellent comedic timing, such as when they viciously chewed off Percy's flying shoes, or when they spoke to a squirrel with high-pitched squeaks. McNally stretched beyond the comedic aspect, delivering the heartbreaking song, "The Tree on the Hill", where Grover retold the story of how one of the campers passed on their travel to Camp Half-Blood. These three performers were believable as good friends learning more about each other as they embarked on their quest.
The entire cast gave it their all, and that was especially evident in the performances of Luke (Vaughn Mussmon), Clarisse (Becca Little), Chiron (Gabe Kelso), Mr. D (Levi Kneeland), and Sally (Juliet Marsh). Kelso, as Chiron, was comedic, convincing the audience that he was part horse by taking graceful equestrian-like strides. Marsh, as Percy's mother Sally, sang beautifully in a heart-to-heart with Percy. There was also an adorable reunion with Sally and her old flame Poseidon, that was a pleasure to watch. The Camp Half-Blood ensemble put on a touching display of emotions during "The Campfire Song", where they sang about their godly parent issues. There was visual appeal throughout the show, such as when the Oracles towered over Percy, or when Percy, and his friends unknowingly visited Medusa's statue garden, which featured members of the ensemble as statues in unnerving tableaus.
A highlight of the show was the cast's performance of "DOA", in which Charon (Stella King) the ferryman, takes Percy and his friends to the underworld. King lit up the stage both literally, with her pink sequin suit, and figuratively with her vocals and dance moves.
The Tech was truly impressive. The towering Minotaur puppeteered by Caleb Barnett was stunning. Furthermore, Marketing and Publicity for this show was excellent; everything from the poster design to the Instagram was well executed. The pit was impactful and supported the story splendidly. Performances by the guitarist Seth Cox were particularly delightful.
Loudoun Valley's production of "The Lightning Thief" captured Rick Riordan's strong storytelling and humor and was such a joy to watch.
by Sarah Gingerich of Woodgrove High School
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