Hero: The Musical Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 19 2012

The only thing wrong with this new musical by Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler is that it's behind the curve on comic-book culture. I found it hard to believe that the hero of Hero—a slacker cartoonist ironically named Hero—would doubt that there's a market for his autobiographical graphic narratives when artists from Art Spiegelman to Alison Bechdel have carved out a whole genre in that mode—something Hero should know, inasmuch as he works in a comic-book store. Other than that, the show is delightful. Thielen and Mahler's 28-year-old, um, protagonist isn't just behindhand aesthetically but emotionally, his growth having been stunted by the death of his mother when he was 18. Hero chronicles his destunting with the help of some preternaturally loving friends and, of course, a good woman. Mahler's songs are buoyant and clever, Thielen's book is full of charming idiosyncrasy, and David Bell's world-premiere production sets a glorious precedent for future stagings. Alex Goodrich, in particular, gets the chance of his life as preternaturally loving friend Kirk, and takes it. Set in Milwaukee, the whole thing feels warmly midwestern. —Tony Adler

Price: $35-$48


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