The brainchild of San Antonio native Rick Riordan, the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series began as bedtime stories Riordan invented to entertain his son Haley that he developed into five immensely popular YA novels.
On what is supposed to be an ordinary field trip, Percy Jackson, a pre-teen struggling with ADHD and dyslexia, is thrust into a dangerous battle that leads to the revelation that he is not just “some kid,” but a demigod, the son of his mortal mother and a mysterious member of the Greek pantheon. Percy is pulled away from his normal life, swept up into a series of adventures and a journey of personal discovery as he becomes enmeshed in longstanding conflicts between the gods.
The series’ popularity seemed to hit a downswing after the release of two CGI-laden film adaptations of middling quality, but the story has reemerged as a musical of all things. Drawing from a one-hour musical adaptation that premiered in New York in 2014, the expanded touring production stages the events of the first book of the series, The Lightning Thief, in which Percy discovers his identity and must recover Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt.
While the show may strike some as a cynical cash grab, the musical has actually been well-received — the Hollywood Report notes that it “provides an excellent if irreverent introduction to Greek mythology that just might persuade some kids to dig deeper.”
$34.50-$89.50, Sat July 6, 8 p.m., H-E-B Performance Hall, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, tobincenter.org.
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