×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Percy Jackson’ Musical, by ‘Unfortunate Events’ Writer, Expands for Return Run

Joe Tracz is having a pretty good week. The first season of “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” the Lemony Snicket TV adaptation on which he served as a story editor, bows Friday on Netflix — and then on Monday, rehearsals start for a new Off Broadway production of his musical adaptation of Percy Jackson tale “The Lightning Thief,” newly expanded from its one-hour origins to a full-length, two-act evening.

That makes two back-to-back adaptations of YA sensations: “Unfortunate Events,” novelist Snicket’s hit series about the unlucky Baudelaire kiddies, and “Lightning Thief,” the first novel in Rick Riordan’s megaselling “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” about a teen who discovers he’s the son of the Greek god Poseidon. Both are also series that have received previous screen adaptations — “Unfortunate Events” in 2004 and “Lightning Thief” in 2010 — that never caught fire in the way the books did.

They’re both properties that had movie adaptations that didn’t capture what people loved about the books,” Tracz said.

On stage, it’s take two for “Lightning Thief,” which Tracz and co-writer Rob Rokicki first wrote in 2014 as a one-hour musical for TheatreWorks NYC’s free, all-ages theater programming. (Stephen Brackett, who’s since had an Off Broadway hit in “Buyer & Cellar,” directed.) Having toured for the last two years, the show has proven successful enough that TheatreWorks, in an arrangement with Riordan and the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, are bringing it back as a full-length show for a run of about six weeks.

The new version, once again directed by Brackett, will have the same DIY aesthetic of the initial staging, but the expanded running time allowed the writers a little more breathing room in adapting a 350-page, plot-driven fantasy for the stage, including the addition of a number of new songs and two more actors who play multiple characters. Chris McCarrell (“Peter Pan Live”), last on Broadway in the revival of “Les Miserables,” stars as Percy in a production that begins performances March 24 at the Lucille Lortel Theater.

“Unfortunate Events,” meanwhile, stars Neil Patrick Harris (as the dastardly Count Olaf) in an eight-episode season that adapts the first four Snicket novels. Snicket himself — the pseudonym of writer Daniel Handler — was in the Netflix writers’ room to help nail the gleefully macabre tone.

After those first four books, there are still nine more novels to go. “We’re all hoping that we’ll be back working on season two soon,” said Tracz.

More Legit

  • CAROL CHANNING HERSCHFELD. Actress Carol Channing

    Remembering Carol Channing: A Master of Channeling the Power of Personality

    There was only one Carol Channing, and her outsize personality was a source of delight to many fans — and imitators. Gerard Alessandrini’s stage spoof “Forbidden Broadway” had many incarnations over the years, including the 1994 edition when an audience member was selected every evening to come onstage and impersonate Carol Channing with the cast. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Celebrities Remembering Carol Channing

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bernadette Peters are among the slew of celebrities taking to Twitter to pay tribute to late singer, comedienne and actress Carol Channing. Known for her starring roles in Broadway’s “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” the legend of the stage and screen died Tuesday at her home in Rancho Mirage, [...]

  • What the Constitution Means to Me

    Listen: How Things Got Scary in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    For a decade, writer-performer Heidi Schreck had wanted to write a play inspired by her experiences as a teen debater. But over the years the show started to develop into something both urgently political and deeply personal — and things got scary. In the Broadway-bound “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Schreck reimagines her speech-and-debate [...]

  • Carol Channing Dead

    Carol Channing, Star of Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' Dies at 97

    Larger-than-life musical stage personality Carol Channing, who immortalized the characters of Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. Channing died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed the news. He wrote, “It is with [...]

  • 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    'What the Constitution Means to Me' Transfers to Broadway

    “What the Constitution Means to Me,” a buzzy Off-Broadway production that counts Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem among its fans, is making the move uptown. The play will come to Broadway this spring for a 12-week limited run at the Helen Hayes Theater. “What the Constitution Means to Me” is one part civics lesson, one [...]

  • Choir Boy review

    Broadway Review: 'Choir Boy'

    Honestly, I was afraid that “Choir Boy” — the sweetly exuberant account of a gifted prep school boy’s coming of age, written by “Moonlight” Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney — would be swallowed up in a Broadway house, after winning us over in an Off Broadway staging in 2013.  But aside from the odd set [...]

  • Jason Robert Brown

    Listen: How Ariana Grande Got Jason Robert Brown to Madison Square Garden

    Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown never expected to find himself performing onstage at Madison Square Garden. But he did — thanks to his pal Ariana Grande. Brown met Grande before she was a superstar, when she was in the 2008 Broadway cast of his teen musical “13.” The two have kept in touch ever since [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content