Picture this… your cat gets stuck in a tree going after a baseball. What do you do? With an adult’s imagination you’re probably going to call a fire department or go find a ladder. With a child’s imagination, you wait for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to come save her.
Barrel of Monkey’s That’s Weird, Grandma is a sketch show written by children and acted and directed by adults. Actors Lizzie Bracken, Elisa Carlson, Nick Hart, Barry Irving, Tom Malinowski, Juanita Andersen, and Rachel Wilson work together to bring these young writers’ imaginations to life through frenzied song and dance, impressive character acting, and inventive (if hardly believable) costume choices. Their commitment to children’s creativity easily shines through, especially when given the understanding that each actor doubles as a creative writing teacher. It doesn’t hurt that the minds of children paired with the talent of adults makes for an abundance of both hilarity and poignancy. The actors went all-out to have us falling over in our chairs with laughter.
At the end of the night we were given the option to vote for our favorite sketches and influence future performances of That’s Weird, Grandma. The show draws from different sketches every night, giving countless children the opportunity to have their work showcased onstage. The stories are often completely wacky, yet the absurdity is what makes each sketch so sweet, funny, and endlessly creative. We all leave the room at the end of the night wishing we could think and write like children again- without constraints, completely outside the box, and with never-ending imagination.
That’s Weird, Grandma’s artistic director is Joseph Schupbach and music director is Gwen Tulin. Brandon Cloyd is Barrel of Monkey’s program director.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
August 7- August 28
Monday nights at 8 PM
5153 N Ashland Avenue
For more information visit The Barrel of Monkeys Website.