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STAGE TUBE: Behind the Scenes of Marriott Theatre's HERO World Premiere

The Marriott Theatre presents HERO, a new musical written by Aaron Thielen with music and lyrics by Michael Mahler, running now through August 19, 2012. Eleven-time Jeff award-winner David H. Bell directs and choreographs. Erich Bergen (JERSEY BOYS, Nat'l Tour) stars as Hero Batowski. Click below to watch a behind-the-scenes video about the production!

In addition to Bergen, the production features an all-star Chicago cast including Heidi Kettenring as "Jane", Don Forston as "Al", Alex Goodrich as "Kirk", Dara Cameron as "Susan", Jonah Rawitz as "Nate" (Zach Keller at matinees), Summer Naomi Smart as "Adele", Michael Aaron Lindner as "Kyle", and ensemble members Kelley Abell, Jameson Cooper, and Alex Goldklang.

HERO tells the story of a talented young artist living anything but a superhero life. After a life changing event his senior year in high school, Hero still finds himself living at home with his dad, Al, who runs the family comic book shop in Milwaukee. Things start to change for him when he bumps into an old girlfriend, and with the encouragement of his dad, and his best friend and cousin, Kirk, Hero finally has a chance to realize his own dream. HERO is an endearing musical that explores those extraordinary moments in ordinary life…when there are no superheroes to the rescue.

As the current Co-Artistic Director for the Marriott Theatre, Aaron Thielen has long been an advocate for the creation of new musicals. Most recently he adapted the Twentieth Century Fox film FOR THE BOYS for the Marriott Theatre stage. He was one of the creative forces in bringing the 2008 world premiere musical THE BOWERY BOYS to Marriott. He co-authored the award-winning ALL NIGHT STRUT, A FASCINATIN' RHYTHM with Marc Robin. He is currently working on another exciting new work for the Marriott Theatre's 2013 Season. As Artistic Director, he led the creative teams of the record-breaking hits A CHORUS LINE, JOSEPH…, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, THE PRODUCERS, LITTLE WOMEN, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, STATE FAIR, and another new work, MARRIED ALIVE. He co-founded a theatre company in Milwaukee dedicated to community outreach, and is a former company member of Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company.

Michael Mahler, a Chicago-based composer, lyricist and actor, began his career at Northwestern University, where he wrote nearly 50 songs for the annual Waa-Mu Show. His songs have been featured in STATUS and WHAT U WILL (The Music Theatre Company); THE AMERICAN DREAM SONGBOOK (Next Theatre Company); MOVING FORWARD, LOOKING BACK (Beechman Theater); and BALLADS. Also, UPTEMPOS (Ars Nova); as well as various songwriter showcases around the world, including the National Alliance for Musical Theatre New Works Summit, the MAC/ASCAP Songwriter Showcase, Monday Night New Voices, and an evening at the Kennedy Center. Mahler teamed up with Alan Schmuckler to write HOW CAN YOU RUN WITH A SHELL ON YOUR BACK?, a critically-acclaimed family musical commissioned by the Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Michael is also a Jeff-nominated actor and musical director.

Lead Artistic Director and Playwright Aaron Thielen heads the Artistic Team of HERO, with Direction and Choreography by David H. Bell, Music Direction by Ryan T. Nelson, Lighting Design by Jesse Klug, Scenic Design by Thomas M. Ryan, Costume Design by Nancy Missimi and Erin Wuorenma, Sound Design by Robert E. Gilmartin and Properties Design by Sally Weiss. Comic Book Illustrations and Designs are by Charles Riffenburg. Patti Garwood serves as the Musical Supervisor and composer Michael Mahler will conduct the Marriott Theatre Orchestra.

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