Show and Tell: 'Jasper in Deadland' at 5th Avenue Theatre
A mythology and rock music mash-up that Percy Jackson fans will especially love
Editor's note: This review was based on a performance that happened before the official press night, so the production has changed somewhat.
Playing at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre through May 24, the new rock musical Jasper in Deadland is a modern-day retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice. When hero Jasper jumps off a cliff in an attempt to save his best friend Agnes, he ends up in “Deadland.” In this mythical underworld in which he is the only living creature, Jasper sets out on a quest to rescue Agnes, fighting gods and monsters along the way. This pop/rock musical is appropriate for ages 13 and up, and will be especially enjoyed by fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
The play begins with teenage Jasper diving off of a cliff to save his best friend Agnes. He finds himself in Deadland, which is not only populated by various mythical gods, but also has wi-fi and cell phones. Jasper meets an underworld tour guide named Gretchen, who joins him in his quest to save Agnes and make it back home.
Throughout his journey, Jasper must face various monsters from Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian and Judeo-Christian mythology, resulting in lots of action, and plenty of comedic relief. We found the mish-mash of gods and myths a bit confusing, although the program has a helpful “Mythology 101” section which sums up each god’s story in a fun way. We all found the first act to be a little too long and complicated, but the story wrapped up effectively in the second act.
The set was minimal, but the Goth costumes and cool lighting made up for it. The two teens who accompanied me to the show absolutely loved the music, and the adults agreed that the score was fantastic. The actors playing Jasper (Matt Doyle) and Gretchen (Sydney Shepherd) were spot on in their roles, and both had amazing voices. Even when we were a bit confused by the storyline, the show was still high energy and very entertaining. This musical will be enjoyed by teens and adults who enjoy mythology, rock music, or just visiting an intriguing new world for a couple of hours.
Parents should know
This musical is listed as PG-13 and I agree with this rating. There is liberal cursing and many sexual jokes/references. There are mentions of drugs (Jasper’s father is a meth addict), alcohol, and domestic violence. For more information and specifics, check this link for content guidelines.
If you go ...
Where: The 5th Ave Theatre is located at 1305 5th Ave. in downtown Seattle.
Parking: You can add single-car parking onto your ticket order for $6; good for parking in three nearby garages. For this and other parking options check.
Tickets: Buy online or call 206- 625-1900. Same-day show tickets can be purchased by students and those under age 25 for $20 with a valid ID.
Tips: Refreshments are available in both the upper and lower lobby during intermission, and drinks can be preordered. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get to the theater and park, because if you arrive late, you won’t be seated until there is a pause in the show. Children under the age of four, including babes in arms, are not allowed in. The show is 2.5 hours plus one intermission.
I highly recommend reading through the "Mythology 101" section in the program before the show, or at least during intermission, to better understand the various gods and myths.Google+