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Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire
Copyright © 2000 - 2013
Hero: A New Musical
June 20 — August 19, 2012
Call the Box Office: (847) 634-0200
This quirky new musical by writers Michael Mahler and Aaron Thielen explores those extraordinary moments in ordinary life when there are no superheroes to the rescue.
Critic's Choice: A playful ‘Hero’ premieres at Marriott
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Tom Witom, Lake County Journal
LINCOLNSHIRE – “Hero,” premiering at Marriott Theatre, is a clever new musical written by Aaron Thielen with music and lyrics by Michael Mahler that taps into the life of an ordinary guy, a young graphic artist who’s a huge fan of superheroes like Spider-Man, Superman and Green Lantern.
Directed and choreographed by David H. Bell, “Hero” tells a heartwarming, contemporary story with definite appeal to the under-50 crowd. Tuneful songs advance the storyline, supported by lively music from a five-piece band. Fortunately, the playwright resisted the temptation to incorporate superhero special effects gimmickry but allowed the story unfold via words and songs.
Hero’s ambition to become a comic book illustrator has been on hold, more or less, since a car accident caused the death of his mother a decade ago. The depressing event put Hero in a tailspin that also caused him to pull away from Jane (Heidi Kettenring), his high school sweetheart and the only girl he ever loved. Hero fantasizes about leading a superhero life.
Ten years ago Jane, feeling cut off from Hero’s life, went off to college, married and later divorced her unfaithful husband. Returning to Milwaukee to accept a teaching position, she is reunited with Hero by a chance meeting. The pair find the latent chemistry between them is still there, though they tread carefully, with each wearing an invisible protective shield against emotional hurt.
Bergen and Kettenring, two amiable and polished actors, sing up a storm in solos and duets in appealing numbers that include “Your Darkest Place,” “Powerless” and “You Are My Kryptonite.” Ryan T. Nelson directs the music, a nice mix of rock and Broadway sounds.
Plenty of stock characters populate Thielen’s “Hero,” including Hero’s cousin and best friend Kirk (Alex Goodrich), an Avon salesperson and bingo host who knows how to turn on the charm, and Jane’s schoolteacher friend, the tightly wound Susan (Dara Cameron) who finds romance intoxicating and liberating.
There’s also Nate (Jonah Rawitz, rotating in the role with Zach Keller), Hero’s precocious 12-year-old cousin; and two huge comic connoisseurs: Ted (Alex Goldklang), a professional slacker, and his pal Kyle (Michael Aaron Lindner).
Kelley Abell, Jameson Cooper and Summer Naomi Smart round out the talented cast.