Ant and Grasshopper, American English Coming to Freedom Hall

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Ant and the Grasshopper shows Friday at 7:00 p.m. (GRAPHIC SUPPLIED)

Fun for the Whole Family!

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Take a trip through the four seasons in this great Aesop’s Fable for the very young and young at heart! Freedom Hall’s intimate 330 seat Nathan Manilow Theatre welcomes the Seem to be Players’ production of “The Ant and the Grasshopper” on Friday, April 4 at 7 pm. and American English on Saturday, April 5 at 8 pm.

A frivolous fiddle playing Grasshopper completely exasperates the hard-working Ant throughout the course of an entire year. A singing Caterpillar, a whacky Squirrel, and a high-strung Bird (puppet) round out the cast of creatures who live their entire annual life cycles in the colorful little forest clearing on stage. Original music by Artistic Director Ric Averill enhances the company’s celebration of the cycle of the seasons. A big, bountiful and beautiful set gradually strips away to become only the Ant’s warm underground hole as winter closes on the frivolous Grasshopper. Science and nature come alive in an educational and entertaining way in this production recommended for preschoolers through 3rd Graders.

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The play opens on a spring day in a meadow near a pond. We see the ant busy gathering seeds and preparing to store them for winter. A fiddle-playing grasshopper stops to strike up a friendship with the ant, but the ant tells him that she is too busy gathering food for the winter to stop and play. The grasshopper laughs at the ant telling her the winter is far away and invites her to play with him. The ant refuses and leaves to find more seeds. As spring passes by the grasshopper meets a squirrel, a caterpillar, and a bird. He invites them to play, but they all have work to do. The grasshopper is delighted when summer arrives and plans to hold an All-Bug Ball where he will invite his friends to bring goodies and the winner of the dancing contest will get to eat first. The grasshopper thinks he will win the contest so he eats the other animal’s goodies as they arrive. The grasshopper tricks the ant into dancing for a little while, but she warns him that he had better get to work saving food if he wants to have any in winter. When fall begins, the grasshopper is still trying to convince the others to play but they are making preparations for their winter hibernation and migration. Finally, winter arrives and the grasshopper is so cold and hungry that he cannot play or dance. He goes to the ant’s house asking for food and warmth but the ant tells the grasshopper his situation is his own fault for being so lazy. After the grasshopper promises to work hard the next year and apologizes the ant finally lets him in and they spend the Winter dancing and singing.

Aesop is the most well known fabulist, or creator of fables, of all time. Hundreds of fables are attributed to him, but very little is known about him as an historical figure. Some even doubt he was a real person. The Greek historian Herodotus indicates Aesop was from Phrygia, where he served as a slave to the Iadmons. He eventually won his freedom and spent time in the courts of King Croesus before he was put to death in Delphi. These are the only facts of his life recorded by an historian, but he is mentioned in literature by many, including Aristophanes, Plato, and Aristotle.

The performance is approximately one hour in length. Through the generosity of the sponsors, Bigelow Homes and Homewood-Star Disposal, Inc. and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, tickets are priced at $7 with a Buy One, Get Free offer. Reserved tickets are available by calling the Freedom Hall box office at 708-747-0580. Freedom Hall, Nathan Manilow Theatre is located at 410 Lakewood Boulevard in Park Forest. Visit us on the web at www.freedomhall.org.

American English

American English shows Saturday at 8 p.m. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Freedom Hall Presents American English – April 5

Freedom Hall’s intimate 330 seat Nathan Manilow Theatre welcomes American English on Saturday, April 5 at 8 pm.

“American English is the best Beatle show on the planet! They are The Beatles incarnate!” writes Sam Leach, original promoter of the Beatles and founder of the Merseybeat movement and author of "The Birth of the Beatles".

American English is simply the best Beatle tribute story of our time. At the inception of the band, they were voted “number one” by thousands of Beatle fans as winners of sound a like contests at Beatlefest® for three consecutive years. Their demand here and abroad, coupled with their spectacular fan base, anchored them into a professional setting, and launched them into larger venues and theatres worldwide. The show begins with the early years of Ed Sullivan and includes classic Beatle favorites such as She Loves You, Twist and Shout, I Want To Hold Your Hand, and many others. American English captures the very essence of John, Paul, George and Ringo! Next, you’ll take a trip with American English as they recreate the psychedelic era of The Beatles. Every musical and visual detail is magically shaped in a colorful journey back in time. You’ll witness incredible versions of selections from Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. All the songs are performed completely live without any tapes or backing tracks. And in the end, you’ll be transformed to a spectacular musical excursion of the final years of The Beatles partnership. Relive the years of The White Album, Let It Be, and Abbey Road. Moving renditions of songs such as Hey Jude, Something, and Let It Be, are sure to complete the tribute to The Beatles!

American English has shared the stage with musical headliners such as The Grassroots, The Neville Brothers, Three Dog Night, The Ides of March, Eric Burdon, The Buckinghams, The Doobie Bros., Badfinger, and many others.

With the band’s increasing success, American English hit the international scene in 1999 making their debut in Tokyo. Their appearance hit the press and initiated a major article in the upscale Japanese magazine “Lightening,” causing “American English Mania” in Japan. The frenzied crowds in Tokyo reacted as though they were seeing the real thing!
In Aug. of 2000, American English invaded the Caribbean and appeared on every major television network in Puerto Rico. American English was truly a band on the run. Constantly pursued by television, radio, and newspapers, they stirred up the islanders like never before. As an added honor, The President of the House of Representatives, Carlos Vizcarrondo, invited the band to the capitol for a private meeting. The band made history by being the only American band to ever perform at the capitol.

In Nov. of 2000, American English awakened a major significant figure in The Beatle world. Sam Leach (the original Beatles promoter from Liverpool) was in town for a book signing for his story “Birth Of The Beatles”. After seeing American English, he has since called the band “The Beatles incarnate!” and is now back promoting and managing American English.

Under the wings of Sam Leach, American English was granted the honor never bestowed upon any other group. They traced the historic footsteps of The Beatles, and performed on the hallowed ground of several original Beatles venues including The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
In December of 2001, the band headlined the George Harrison tribute at the House of Blues in Chicago, where they were joined by several legendary Beatles/Wings related artists. This tribute was the first of its kind and the event made news headlines around the world. The band had the distinct honor to perform with the original Beatles drummer Pete Best!

Their crowning moment came in 2002, as they headlined International Beatle Week in Liverpool in front of a screaming crowd of 50,000 plus! To top it all off, American English recorded a concept album at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London. The fantasy album “What If”, features songs that might have ended up on the next Beatles record, had they stayed together in 1971?

American English is the only Beatle act to have ever performed concerts accompanied by Denny Laine, co-founder of Wings, and the original Wings horn section, featuring Howie Casey, Thaddeus Richard and Steve Howard. Recently, they have all joined forces to put on special concerts around the world. This unprecedented merging of talent begins with American English as The Beatles and closes with an incredible tribute to Paul McCartney and Wings. This unique and exclusive show entitled "Rock Show" is currently available to the public.

The fantasy lives on with these remarkable musicians who take the music to the highest level possible. American English is the closest you will ever get to reliving The Beatles. Whether you grew up with the Fab Four or not, this show will be your window to the past. Witness “The Complete Beatles Tribute” with American English! Reserved seats are reasonably priced at $20 due to the generosity of the evening sponsors, Baxter and Woodman Consulting Engineers, J. Murray and Associates, Inc. and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Contact the Freedom Hall box office at 708-747-0580 or visit the website at www.freedomhall.org.