Thoughts: OK, so I had just finished reading the first book of the series the night before my best friend and I went to see this show, so everything from the book was very fresh in my mind. I worried that perhaps this would taint my view of the musical (as it often does for book-to-movie adaptations), however I really enjoyed the musical!
A few things I liked:
They captured the personality of Mr. D extremely well. His character in the show was hilarious and I loved it!
They incorporated the unique humor (and fact that Percy is 12 and the others are also still kids) really pretty well.
The show did a good job capturing the essence of the book. Because let's be honest, the point of a musical adaptation is not to give a completely accurate rendering of the original story in musical form (hint hint Les Misérables). And obviously things had to be cut or re-shaped to make things fit into the musical, but I feel like they did a pretty good job with that.
The music was really boppin'. I saw the show a day ago, and have already listened to the soundtrack online another two and a half times (I got interrupted once).
Things that weren't my favorite:
If you (or your children, or you on behalf of your children) are sensitive to language, there were a couple uses of the word "damn." They mostly covered them in Hoover Dam references though.
The gods were given way less weight than they held in the book. In the book they were modernized and had their foibles and quirks, but they still held a great weight in the world. In the show they really played up the goofiness and I didn't really feel that they carried much real weight. Slightly disappointed there.
Piggybacking off the above point, Percy's relationship with his Dad was vastly different from the book. This really comes as a result of what I mentioned above. Wasn't a huge deal though.
An actor was replaced halfway through the show and I NEED TO KNOW WHY. Someone came on the god mic at the end of intermission to announce to the audience that a different actor would be portraying Grover and Mr. D for the remainder of the show, and I am still wondering WHY. Were they hurt? Sick? Too busy finishing their coloring page? Were they meditating and fell into an unbreakable trance? Brutally murdered backstage during intermission? I. NEED. TO. KNOW.
More things I liked:
Loved the use of puppets. Ever since I first saw puppets used in a professional theatre for a non-child-centered show, I have loved seeing how other shows incorporate them. The Lightning Thief was very creative in their use and made good use of puppetry to help with effects, monsters, etc that would otherwise have been impossible for the touring musical setup/length/complexity of show setup they currently have going.
The lighting was amazing. It looked incredibly complex by itself, but blended well with the show and added a great pizzazz.
LOVED the lightning and thunder effects. I mean, if you've read even the first book, you know. Thunder and lightning are important, and they did a great job incorporating them into the show and even the pre-show!
Really great use of the space. My friend and I attended the show at the Winspear Opera House, which has a fantastic chandelier that retracts into the ceiling before each show. <<<SPOILER WARNING>>> (I don't know how they do it in other venues, but at the Winspear, Poseidon's sigil, the trident, when it appears over Percy's head, is lit up in the chandelier so that everyone can look up at the ceiling at it looks like a constellation in the stars.)
The scene with the oracle was AMAZING. It looked SO COOL. That is all I can say.
The monsters were really well done. Again, all I can say.
In the end: 4 out of 5 stars, would definitely recommend!