George Salazar (BFA Musical Theatre ‘08) will be returning to the stage in the new, off-Broadway production of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical. Based on Rick Riordan’s best-selling novel with the same title, this musical adaptation follows the adventures of Percy Jackson, who has just discovered his mythical powers, as he races to find Zeus’ lighting bolt and ward off war among the Greek Gods.
Salazar will be playing the roles of Grover, Percy Jackson’s best friend, and Mr. D, the headmaster who is also known as Dionysus.
“Grover is a half-goat half-human protector for Percy, but he's really bad at being a protector, gets spooked easily, and fails to say the right thing in the worst of times,” Salazar said. “Mr. D, on the other hand, is a headmaster in charge of half god, half mortal kids who is belligerent, miserable, loud, violent and admittedly hates kids.”
When asked about playing multiple roles, Salazar shared that he spends most of his time on stage as Grover, but that he does switch roles and plays Mr. D for a few scenes.
“Needless to say, playing two characters that are so wildly different is one of the exciting parts of this process. I'm having a blast creating two very different characters.”
Salazar credits the training he received while at UF as being “incredibly instrumental” in his career.
“UF laid a foundation upon which I've been able to build a career off of hard work and a good attitude,” he said.
As a UF student, Salazar participated in the New York Actors’ Showcase during his senior year.
“The NYC Showcase helped me break through the first hurdle of life as an actor: finding representation,” he said.
This year, he returned to Showcase as an audience member to show support to current seniors who were in a familiar position.
“Hit the ground running and keep saying yes,” was the advice Salazar gave to these seniors and to other aspiring actors in college.
“Work hard and don't be a jerk,” he said. “Anyone with talent can book that first job, but only a person who others enjoy being around books the second, third and hundredth job.”
Previews of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical will begin March 23 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. It is set to open on April 4 and run until May 6. Tickets can be purchased at LightningThiefMusical.com or at (866) 811-4111.
Keep up with Salazar on Twitter.