Barrel of Monkeys Presents That's Weird, Grandma Review- The Stories Written by Kids

I have attended a lot of events in the Chicago area, but the recent one that I went to this past Sunday was by far one of the most unique. The performance called That’s Weird Grandma: Winter Wonderland Matinees was presented by the Barrel of Monkeys. I had never heard of them nor watched a display of story-telling quite like this one. What really interested me was that these stories were written by Chicago public school students, acted out by adults (Barrel of Monkeys).  You could imagine my surprised expression realizing this was directed more towards children.


The Kid With The Donut Suit story

This performance took place at the Neo-Futurist Theater at 2pm. The environment was definitely more relaxed and the theater was relatively small. I saw nothing but children with their parents running around until the show started. I noticed that this seemed to be a regular event for many of the audience members there. Right when the show started the kids were attentive as were their parents and for the next hour there was nothing but laughter. 

My Holiday (Ice Cream Candy Sugar Rush Day!!!!!!!!!) The Best Holiday Event story

As usual at the beginning of any act you are given a program to follow along with the chronological acts of the show. In total there were 17 acts played out by 13 cast members. Individually they all had their own unique personas and were a very diverse group of actors that the children and adults loved.


Once Upon A Princess story

Once the acts started they each lasted about three minutes. They were quite humorous and amusing. The fascinating part was that each story was told by a different student and I couldn’t wrap my head around the amount of imagination that children have at that age to deliver these types of stories. Some had deep meaning and opinion, others had straight forward truth, and some had no meaning at all, and yet all were very unique and kept the audience interested with the variety of topics. The Barrel of Monkeys did an awesome job portraying these stories with impressive musical numbers, fun props, and overall positive and lively energy throughout the entire show. I believe the children enjoyed the show but surprisingly so were the adults.


The Crazy Old People story

This type of show was definitely centered towards children but the content was very amusing for adults as well. It was a great family event to attend and didn’t run too long to the point where the children couldn’t handle sitting down. Even if people bought tickets for their kid’s amusement they were quite enjoyed themselves as well. It was the type of show that even if you weren’t interested in watching, you were entertained and at least found laughing more than a few times. Overall the show was fun and highly recommended to attend another.


Day In The Life Of Bacon story

After the show was over there were short surveys to fill out on which acts were favorited. As the show continues each week running until March 13, each show is different with new stories by other students. Donations were available to be made for the show and merchandise for purchase. I left with a spoon and in a great mode. The show was great and its overall meaning and point to the show is highly admirable. I hope for these shows to continue on so more creative stories by children can be told to entertain others.

As previously stated, the shows continue to run until March 13, every Sunday at 2pm, in the Neo-Futurist Theater (5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago). Tickets are $12 for adults; $6 children 12 and under. For more information visit Barrel of Monkeys online.




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