It was only appropriate that I spoke with Eric Michaels on Sir Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday! Eric has been performing as the legendary Beatle for 20 years as part of American English, who portrays the Fab Four from their early days in the 1960s to their final days as a band. American English is coming to Naper Settlement on Friday, June 22, during Naper Nights, presented by Sikich, a Community Concert Series by BMO Harris Bank, at Naper Settlement, Chicagoland's outdoor history museum in Naperville.
It was so much fun talking with Eric about The Beatles. He said he had to learn to play the bass left-handed and backwards just like Paul, to be authentic. American English’s philosophy of portraying The Beatles fits in perfectly with what we do at Naper Settlement.
“We do a very representative, historical aspect of The Beatles from 1963 to the end of their career,” he said. “We include all the costume changes and guitars that were historically used. We do a lot of research because part of our job is being actors and being musicians.”
I am probably the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen American English, so I’m really looking forward to the show on Friday because, let’s face it, we are all Beatles fans at heart.
“Beatles are part of our souls and we try to portray that on stage for the people,” Eric said.
On Saturday night, The Smithereens return to the stage at Naper Settlement. They were set to perform during Naper Days in 2009, but a sudden ferocious thunderstorm caused their show to be canceled. During the downpour, the band met fans in the lower level of the Chapel and they were so warm and friendly, despite the weather outside. The band, which had its start in New Jersey, has been performing together for about 30 years. By the way, if you’re a fan of Little Steven’s Underground Garage (like me), The Smithereens’ song “Sorry” is the #8 “Coolest Song in the World” in 2011.
We’re excited about the opening acts, too – Hix Brothers’ Captains of Industry will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and power pop legend Mimi Betinis will perform at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday. Online ticket sales end at noon on Thursday, June 21, but you can still buy tickets at the gate. With a membership, enjoy both concerts, plus the entire concert series in July and August, Oktoberfest, All Hallows Eve, Civil War Days and regular daily admission. Visit www.napersettlement.museum for details.