Cherry Hill High School West puts on “The Lightning Thief”

Carolyn Messias, The Lightning Thief director, led the actors to put on the play.

Courtesy of showtix4u

Carolyn Messias, “The Lightning Thief” director, led the actors to put on the play.

Cherry Hill High School West recently showcased the production of “The Lightning Thief” and I was thoroughly impressed by the talent and creativity displayed.

Based on the well-known young adult novel by Rick Riordan, the high school drama follows the adventures of Percy Jackson, a demigod who learns that he is the son of Poseidon. Percy then sets out on a journey to recover Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt.

The play begins as Percy discovers his demigod heritage. He soon sets out with Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, to retrieve Zeus’ lost lightning bolt.

Their quest takes them to various places such as the Lotus Hotel and Casino, the Underworld, and the Island of Lotus Eaters. In each of these locations, Percy is forced to face many obstacles.

In the end, Percy returns Zeus’ lost lightning bolt to him. The play’s ending was dramatic and well done with a heavy focus on Percy’s friendships throughout his journey.

Even at the high school level, the actors managed to embody their characters thoroughly. Between Percy’s reluctant heroism and Annabeth’s fierce intelligence, the audience was reminded of parallels between Riordan’s world and High School West’s.

Carolyn Messias, the show’s director, told The Sun that “The Lightning Thief” was chosen because it is “family friendly and relevant.”

“I thought it would be a fun thing to do and the kids in elementary school read this book,” Messias told The Sun. She explained that their audience mainly consisted of young families that come to high school musicals, and many of those families had likely read the Percy Jackson series before.

The set design was also simple, yet effective with clever use of lighting and props to create various locations on the stage. The audience could tell that significant effort went into the behind-the-scenes of the play (in addition to the actors’ hard work).

One of the highlights of the production was the musical numbers performed by the cast. They were catchy, upbeat, and added an extra layer of energy to the show.

Everything from the songs to the mood of the play created close parallels to Riordan’s original novel. The audience could see the similarities between the two worlds. It is clear that plenty of thought was put into these similarities, and it paid off well with an entertaining performance.