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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Teenage Greek Tragedy: Masque & Triangle Performs ‘The Lightning Thief’

Teenage+Greek+Tragedy%3A+Masque+%26+Triangle+Performs+The+Lightning+Thief
Alysha Mendez

The Colgate University student theatre group Masque & Triangle (M&T) put on two performances of “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical in Concert.” One performance took place on Friday, Oct. 20 and the other on Saturday, Oct. 21. Performing in the Edge Café and Colgate Memorial Chapel, respectively, M&T put on the musical “in concert,” skipping major chunks of dialogue to make for a more song-driven and shorter performance. Even without elaborate costumes, props, choreography or sets, M&T still delivered an imaginative and energetic show.

M&T brought the beloved story of Percy Jackson to life through song. “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is a Broadway adaptation of Rick Riordan’s novel “The Lightning Thief,” which is the first in his seven-book fantasy-adventure series, “Percy Jackson & the Olympians.” The book tells the story of demigod children of Greek gods who navigate through school and summer camp in the 21st century. The musical similarly follows the twelve-year-old son of Poseidon, Percy Jackson, through his adventure across the United States to get to the Underworld.

The M&T student actors took turns in their roles as demigod children at Camp Half-Blood, alternating characters for each song as a split cast. This creative method gave each student a chance to shine and to practice bringing different characters to life. The actors swapped props to indicate their roles throughout the concert, such as a Percy Jackson’s necklace, a hat worn by the character Annabeth and goat horns donned by the student who would take on the role of Grover – a satyr and Percy Jackson’s friend and guardian. The group wore bright orange shirts that read “Camp Half-Blood” to embody the camp-attending characters.

Junior Alex Tauber, a member of M&T who performed in the musical this weekend, enjoyed the unique format of the production and how it involved swapping roles.

“This was the first time I had ever been involved in a musical in concert, as opposed to a standard musical,” Tauber said. “Not having to worry about scene work or choreography made prep for the show a lot easier. Also, unlike a standard musical, where your part is decided at the beginning of the rehearsal process, in this show, we swapped characters after each number. This way, everyone got to contribute equally and everyone brought their own unique spin to each character they played.”

Tauber was also grateful for the audience’s positive reception of the musical in concert.

“The audience, on both nights, was very warm and receptive,” Tauber said. “They laughed at all of our jokes and were visibly moved by our vocal performances. As actors, we thrive off of their reactions, so we ended both performances feeling pretty great.”

The student group’s performances vividly told the Percy Jackson story and certainly merited the positive reception from the Colgate community. First-year and member of M&T Tyler Couture emphasized the importance of the acting performance, even within a musical in concert.

 “Although a musical in concert removes all the dialogue sequences in between the songs, that doesn’t mean that all acting is irrelevant,” Couture said. “You are still trying to tell the story and be authentic, so it is still important to act.”

Junior Danny Ruiz directed the production, which came together in just four weeks. Ruiz worked with assistant director and junior Katie Victor, stage manager and sophomore Lara Blanton and sophomore Tanner Harmon, who served as an acting coach for his peers. Speaking from off stage, Blanton filled the audience in on major plot points between certain songs, summarizing what was missing in the shortened concert format of the musical. The creative team also joined the performance, taking on various roles to showcase their acting and vocal talents.

For many Colgate students, Riordan’s fantasy books are childhood classics. The novels are creative accounts of Greek mythology through the lens of the children, and the musical rendition takes this one step further, retelling the drama through campfire songs. Beyond the great performance, first-year Rowan Meyers also enjoyed how “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical in Concert” successfully emulated Riordan’s fictional world. Meyers expressed their excitement in performing alongside M&T to tell the beloved stories as a long-time fan of the musical itself. 

“I’m very familiar with the Percy Jackson book lore, and I deem the musical a solid translation. Some things were slightly changed to better fit the format of a stage show, but in comparison to the atrocities that are the movies, the musical does a really good job,” Meyers said. “The songs all perfectly capture each character’s [personality], too. Percy Jackson was a very special book series to me, and the musical is such a solid representation that I’ve had the whole thing memorized since I was 12, which also made it a very special show for me to be a part of.”

Masque & Triangle’s production of “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical in Concert” brought teenage drama and Greek mythology alive, with incredible performances by Colgate’s skilled student actors. Couture expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the show.

“I think that both performances went very well. It was awesome to see some of my friends and family members come out to see the shows, and I think everyone did a great job in their roles,” Couture said. “I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to work with this amazing cast.”

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About the Contributor
Rylee Hatch, Arts & Features Editor
Rylee Hatch is a sophomore from East Fishkill, NY concentrating in English and environmental studies. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Commentary and News sections. On campus, Rylee is involved in Colgate Dance Initiative, the Dance Team, and the Ballet Company. 

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