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Percy Jackson steals Broadway

The work 'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' is being presented until May 6 in New York.

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Kristin Stokes is Annabeth Chase; Chris McCarrell plays Percy Jackson and George Salazar is Grover. Kristin Stokes is Annabeth Chase; Chris McCarrell plays Percy Jackson and George Salazar is Grover.
Kristin Stokes is Annabeth Chase; Chris McCarrell plays Percy Jackson and George Salazar is Grover. CORTESY/Jeremy Daniels

The life of a teenager is always difficult, but when you are a demigod, things can be a little more complicated.

Percy Jackson is a quiet boy who one day discovers that he is the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. His story is told in the book “Percy Jackson and the gods of Olympus (2005),” by the American writer Rick Riordan.

His adventures against other mythical beings, after taking a leap in 2010 from the page to the big screen, now moves to a new venue: the stage.

Stephen Brackett is the director in charge of bringing all the fantasy that surrounds the work to the stage in “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical,” being presented in the Lucille Lortel Theater (121 Christopher Street, New York) on Broadway.

His cast includes Chris McCarrell (Les Misérables), who plays Percy; Carrie Compere (The Color Purple) as Sally and George Salazar (Godspell), who gives life to Grover and Lord D.

La Prensa had the opportunity to speak with Salazar, who says that every night he feels a bit bipolar for recreating two characters that are so different.

"They cannot be more different. Grover is empathetic by nature and would be able to stop a bullet for saving Percy, and on the other hand, you have Lord D (Dionysus, the god of wine), who was basically banished to take care of the children of the gods he despises, including Percy," explains Salazar, who added that the show remains true to the book so as to not disappoint fans.

Percy is a demi-god, and Grover is a satyr, but they are friends. What do you think is the secret for having a successful friendship, despite differences?

I think we all, regardless of our outside appearances, share a lot of things in common with each other. We're all human and we all seek connection with others to live a full life. And I think, speaking as someone with friends from all backgrounds, religions, and orientations, we find ways to celebrate our differences if we're living life correctly. Focusing on our differences leaves no room for real connection. And I think our show, cast with an incredibly talented AND diverse cast of actors proves this beautifully. We all have a lot more in common than you'd think. If only everyone in our world would just open their eyes to see that. We'd all be able to live a life that's full and gratifying.

Percy is the "stranger". What advice would you give to guys who feel different and feel they don't fit into one place.

Listen, as a half-Ecuadorian, half-Filipino actor, I spent a long time feeling out of place in this business. But as soon as I owned my uniqueness and the strengths I found in being different, nothing but good things have come my way. So regardless of what you do for a living, you just have to be the best at what you do. And love what you do. And your individualism will transcend the social barriers that discourage us. Knock those walls down and be the best version of yourself. The weirder, the better

Why do you think greek mythology is an attractive way to talk to youngsters?

Using a world drenched in Greek mythology to get across to the younger generation is just a way cooler approach. There are no limitations, anything is possible. This engages the imaginative and immerses them in a world where anything can happen. What I love most about the world we live in with our show is that kids who face ADHD, dyslexia, a single parent household see themselves on stage. We're empowering those kids who may feel at times like the problems they face are too big to overcome. They see a main character who grew up in a single parent home with ADHD and dyslexia who becomes a hero who saves the world! I mean, it doesn't get better than that.

Is this a play meant for young audiences o adults?

Obviously younger audiences will easily relate and love the show, but a huge goal for myself and the entire team was to make this an all-inclusive experience. The goal is to reach everyone from 7 to 77 and I think we're doing a pretty good job at it. But maybe you should come see us and experience that for yourself!

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