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One Direction all right with partygoers at Chicago Ridge library

Angelique Clark. 10 Chicago Ridge is big fan One Direction.  |  Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

Angelique Clark. 10, of Chicago Ridge, is a big fan of One Direction. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

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More than 50 kids, primarily girls, filled a meeting room at the Chicago Ridge Public Library for a party devoted to their version of The Beatles.

One Direction — for those who haven’t heard — is a boy band from England that has taken the pop music world by storm since breaking onto the scene in 2010.

On Jan. 28, the band was THE topic of conversation at the library, 10400 S. Oxford Ave.

Lori Lysik, who works at the circulation desk, was looking for something to bring families to the library on a cold winter’s day, and she struck gold with the party idea.

The event was discussed for weeks prior at the library. Some wondered if the band was going to be there. Kids lined up long before the door to the meeting room opened at 6 p.m. on the day of the party.

Once inside, they found life-sized cutouts of some band members, perfect for posing with for photos. They played One Direction bingo, which used song titles instead of numbers. There was Pin the Hearts on One Direction, a twist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

They even played a One Direction trivia game.

There were One Direction-themed prizes given to winners of various contests at the party. The band’s music played in the background. And when “They Don’t Know About Us” came on, most of the room erupted in a huge sing-along.

And it’s all because of Harry, Louis, Niall, Liam and Zayn.

“They’re very good singers. I like their songs,” said Yousef Jaber, 13, of Chicago Ridge, one of the few boys at the party.

Sarah Simpson, 17, of Oak Lawn, posed for photos with the cutouts as her mother, Kathie Simpson, snapped photos with her cellphone.

“It’s a good party because it’s exciting,” Sarah said.

It turns out that even Mom likes the band.

“They’re very handsome, aren’t they? My era was The Beatles. I saw The Beatles in concert when they came to the (Chicago) Amphitheatre,” Kathie said.

There was no way Ayat Suhail, 15, of Burbank, would miss the party for the band she loves.

“I’m in love with One Direction, all of them. They’re amazing and they’re really good singers and they’re an inspiration to everybody,” Ayat said.

One Direction will play two concerts on Aug. 29 and 30 at Soldier Field, and, yes, Ayat will attend.

“I have tickets in the second level,” she said, beaming.

Mary Powers, president of the Chicago Ridge Friends of the Library, sat in the rear of the room, smiling as she watched her granddaughter, Angelique Clark, revel in all things One Direction.

“I guess the words are easy to sing. The kids can sing right along with them. They kind of like the beat. She’s only 10. I don’t know how far she’ll go with it,” Powers said.

Angelique, of Chicago Ridge, has no plans to ever quit One Direction.

“I like their music because I know the songs. Zayn is the hottest. Some day, I want to meet them in real life,” Angelique said.

Angelique brought a One Direction poster and a One Direction blanket to the party. But this devoted fan was surprised to learn the band is coming to town.

“Where? Soldier Field? Tell her I want to go,” she said, pointing across the room at her grandmother.

A check on StubHub.com showed tickets going for much more than face value — for example, one can sit in the first row for the Aug. 29 show for $2,400 and change. So Angelique may have to be content with playing her CDs and looking at her poster.

Powers laughed when asked if she’ll buy tickets for herself and Angelique.

“Too many people. She’ll have to enjoy it at home,” Powers said.

Powers wonders if One Direction will have the staying power of another popular band from England that first caught her eye 50 years ago.

“I was watching the Rolling Stones in concert on HBO the other night. Oh, my gosh, for their age and what they do, wow,” she said.

“My husband was an Andy Frain usher and that’s the first concert he took me to when we were dating, at the old Arie Crown Theatre, just before the thing burned down. The ushers had to lock hands and stand in front of the stage to protect the band. One girl was so panicky to get to the Rolling Stones. I told her, ‘Get away from my man,’ ” Powers said with a smile.



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