A Preview: Grasshopper Night

Grasshopper Night will come alive this Family Weekend, representing the collective effort of over 100 students and faculty.

The annual event showcases the student body’s array of talents, and will go up four times this year, with two on Friday evening and two on Saturday evening.

“In some aspects, [Grasshopper] is a talent show, but like anything at Andover, our talent is so amazing that what [we] really work on doing is making it a real show from beginning to end,” said Erin Strong, Chair and Instructor in Theater and Dance and Faculty Coordinator for Grasshopper Night. “It’s everything. It’s a cohesive show [that] has a level of professionalism, and that I think is really unique to the ability of our students.”

While in years past Grasshopper Night has had definitive overarching themes, this year’s acts were instead loosely inspired by varying works of art and literature. Students were encouraged to find, interpret and represent forms of art in their performances.

“We went with a very general theme this year, rather than narrowing the show down to one central theme. Therefore, this year’s show is going to be a bit more abstract and diverse than other years. The things that acts have come up with out of such a simple theme are truly astonishing,” said Esther Cohen ’14, Theater Director for Grasshopper Night.

The five MCs of Grasshopper Night, Rob Irvin ’15, Sophia Lloyd Thomas ’14, Vincent Mocco ’15, Ellie Simon ’15 and Lane Unsworth ’15, will be working to keep the show coherent by entertaining the audience between some of the acts.

“The audience should look forward to seeing a sassy Sophia, me and my artistic talents, Ellie getting in touch with her chakras, an in-depth look into the dark inner workings of Vince’s mind and an up-close-and-personal night with Rob,” said Unsworth.

Seho & Sons, a student jazz band, will kick off Grasshopper Night with upbeat riffs as they did last year. The group consists of Seho Young ’15 and a number of other students in a smaller-scaled jazz band.

“[We’re playing] ‘Cantina Band’ by John Williams from Star Wars Episode IV, but those who know the piece can expect much more than that. There will be luscious solos, plenty of laughs and a little bit of the ‘Dark Side’ thrown in there,” said Young.

Young is the conductor of the band, which includes a drummer, a cellist, violinists and saxophonists, among others. The lively and catchy tune sets an upbeat tone for the rest of the show.

The brother-sister duo, Ben Hawley ’15 and Sam Hawley ’16, will put their own personal twist on “Into the Wild” by LP. The piece showcases both Sam’s vocal abilities and the siblings’ dexterity with the ukulele.

“Our inspiration behind this act was the picture book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak. It was one of our favorite stories to read when we were kids. We loved reading it, and we want the audience to enjoy themselves just as much [when they’re listening to our performance,]” said Sam Hawley.

The Hawleys’ musical compatibility will undoubtedly shine through in this performance, with Sam Hawley’s mature voice complementing Ben Hawley’s part on the ukulele.

Hypnotiq, Andover’s hip-hop dance group, will perform their piece, “Snow White, Girl!” The dance performance is accompanied by a mash-up of the classic Walt Disney song “Hi-Ho,” “White Girl” by E-40 and “Gold Digger” by Kanye West.

“Our act will be the fairest of them all. The audience should expect the Hypnotiq dancers to do some digging and mining!” said Robert Rush ’14, a member of Hypnotiq.

Other acts include Footnotes’ tap dance inspired by “Mission: Impossible” and an a capella version of Toto’s “Africa” by the Yorkies, Andover’s all-male a capella group.

Grasshopper Night will be held in Tang Theatre on Friday at 6:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. as well Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. This year’s Grasshopper Night shows will allow a significant portion of non-ticket holders to enter the auditorium after all ticket holders have been seated, according to the Theater and Dance Department.