A Demi-God Onstage: Chris McCarrell in THE LIGHTNING THIEF

Chris McCarrell is on an epic quest as Percy Jackson in the touring production of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical. As the son of Poseidon, McCarrell’s character is on a mission to find Zeus’s lightning bolt and prevent a war between the gods. Fans of Percy Jackson will not be disappointed in the musical adaptation based on the Disney –Hyperion book. McCarrell took a moment out his touring schedule to talk about his role as “leader of the gods.”

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is playing through Sunday, January 27, 2019, at the Merriam Theatre.

James Hayden Rodriguez and Chris-McCarrell. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

James Hayden Rodriguez and Chris McCarrell in THE LIGHTNING THIEF. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Debra Danese: How familiar with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series were you before taking on the lead role?

Chris McCarrell: Not at all, which is nuts. I was always busy spending my fictional life in theatre and I was never a big reader growing up. After I learned that I got the role, I read the first book. That is when I discovered the secret to our show. The script held the tone of the books so well.  There’s always a one- liner right when he needs to be focusing more on not dying.

DD: As leader of the demi-gods, what are some of Percy’s biggest challenges?

CHRIS-MCCARRELLCM: In our show, when Percy comes back to camp, he realizes how the animosity between the half bloods and their parents can turn violent. So, I think for him it’s realizing that they’re on their own and they have no other choice but to take the world on themselves.  A part of growing up is realizing that nobody is doing that for you.

DD: Which of Percy’s powers is your favorite?

CM: My favorite is his control of nature. I mean, who looks at a lake and can be like “I’ve lifted that.”

DD: What traits do you and Percy have in common?

CM: Our love for our mothers. My mom and I have a really close relationship. So, I totally understand why he would risk everything to get her back.

[Merriam Theatre] January 22-27, 2019; kimmelcenter.org

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About the author

Debra Danese

Debra graduated with a degree in dance from the University of the Arts and also holds a B.A. in Arts Administration. She is accredited at the Master Level with the National Registry of Dance Educators. Debra has performed in Europe, Tokyo, Canada, and the Caribbean. She teaches and choreographs world-wide and has been an international guest artist in Switzerland, England, and Slovakia. Debra has been an Artist in Residence on five occasions in Norway where she showcased full length dance productions at the acclaimed Nordland Theatre. She has also presented an original dance production at the Elspe Festival in Germany. Debra has been featured in Dance, Dancer and Dance Teacher Magazines for her work in dance education. Additionally, she has been a contributing writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine since 2010.