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Lake Zurich Teen Stars in Marriott Theatre Musical

Zach Keller says his character in HERO is an all-American kid, just like himself.

This summer will be filled with rehearsals and performances for Zachary Keller, who just graduated from . Zach stars in the world premiere of HERO, a new musical at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

Zach got his start as an actor in a fourth-grade play at  He’s been hooked ever since and has appeared in several professional productions including The Sound of Music and Ragtime at Drury Lane Theatre, For the Boys at Marriott Theatre and To Kill a Mockingbird at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Zach said he enjoys the acting as well as the actors.

“I like actors; their personalities are all different. I like meeting new people. All actors know all the other actors and it’s like a small community,” he said.

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. 

Zach is part of the ensemble and plays Nate in the matinee performances. Nate is Kirk’s younger brother. 

“I really like my character. He relates a lot to me. I’m very independent like Nate. Nate likes comic books and I collect old comic books from the ‘50s and ‘60s. He seems like an all-American kid and that’s how I think of myself,” Zach said. 

Mary Keller, Zach’s mom, said her entire family is looking forward to this show. 

“It’s a brand-new musical that has never been done, so there’s a lot of excitement for all of us,” she said. Zach is the youngest of four children.

HERO was written by Aaron Thielen, co-artistic director for the Marriott Theatre. Music is by Michael Mahler, a Chicago-based composer. 

HERO previews June 20, opens on at 8 p.m. June 27 and runs through Aug. 19, 2012. Eleven-time Jeff award-winner David H. Bell directs and choreographs. Erich Bergen (JERSEY BOYS, Nat’l Tour) stars as Hero Batowski.

Visit the Marriott Theatre of Hero Musical for more information.

Teresa Dever June 04, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Congratulations Zach! It is so exciting to see all the wonderful things you are doing with your gifts!
Tea drinker June 04, 2012 at 12:36 PM
You spelled Aaron's last name wrong. It's Thielen.
Claudia Lenart (Editor) June 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Thanks for catching that. It's corrected.

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