Wednesday, May 1, 2019

OPENING: Stories That Sing and Dance Via Barrel of Monkeys' Long Running THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:

Barrel of Monkeys Presents
Stories That Sing and Dance
Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd
May 3 – 25, 2019 at the Neo-Futurist Theater

An Original Sketch Show that is Written by Kids, 
Performed by Grownups, and Enjoyed by Humans

Barrel of Monkeys has been a fav of ours for years, here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows. They're long running for a reason! Check out their quirky hybrid of kid created camp, distilled, directed and acted by professional adult actors. It's a compelling combo that's ever changing. If you can make it in May, there's an added bonus of MUSIC too. Don't miss this. BOM's annual all musical edition is only playing through May 25th. Also note, this one's on the weekends instead of the usual Monday school night time slot, so bring the kids! 

Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to present the annual all musical edition of its much-lauded sketch show: THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Sing and Dance, directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd, playing Fridays and Saturday at 7:30 pm from May 3 – 25, 2019 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 506-7140. 

Kaylyn Carter and Arielle Leverett perform “One Day Washing Clothes” 
in Barrel of Monkeys’ all-musical revue THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Sing and Dance. All Production Photos by Evan Hanover.

(left to right) Nic Park, Rachel Wilson, Bryan Bosque and Kaylyn Carter perform “The Queen with No Friends” 

Back by popular demand, BOM’s all-musical line-up returns with a mix of new and classic song-and-dance numbers performed to music composed and designed by the talented musicians of Barrel of Monkeys. Now performing in prime-time for the first time ever!

The cast includes Noah Appelbaum, Bryan Bosque, Kaylyn Carter, Linsey Falls, Isabella Gerasole, Gaby Hirsch, Arielle Leverett, Nic Park, Jon Schneidman, Carly Wicks and Rachel Wilson.

(left to right) Arielle Leverett, Gabriella Hirsch and Kaylyn Carter perform “The Girl Who Said No”  

 (left to right) Kaylyn Carter, Nic Park, Carly Wicks, Brandon Cloyd and Bryan Bosque perform “IRS Moles” 

(front, l to r) Linsey Falls and Bryan Bosque perform “Dear Government” 

Now in its eighteenth year, THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA features adaptations of stories written during Barrel of Monkeys’ creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools. BOM’s ensemble of professional actors, comedians and musicians bring the young authors’ stories to life as raucous sketches, songs and movement pieces, performing first for students in their schools and then for the public. These stories – from hilarious dialogues between unlikely characters to poignant pleas for social change – resonate with adults while celebrating the imaginations of young people. Every week brings a new line-up of stories, and BOM invites audiences to vote on their favorites at each performance.

Location: Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Preview: Friday, May 3 at 7:30 pm
Press performance: Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, May 10 – Sunday, May 25, 2019
Curtain Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Tickets: Previews: $10 for adults, $5 children 12 and under, $8 groups of 10 or more. Regular run: $20 for adults; $5 for children 12 and under. Discounts: $12 for students with ID, seniors, veterans and groups of 10 or more people. Teen Arts Pass (TAP) members: $5 with ID. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 506-7140.

(left to right) Brandon Cloyd, Arielle Leverett and Stewart Romeo perform “Malcolm X and the Monster and Zombie Infection” 

 (left to right) Gabriella Hirsch and Linsey Falls perform “The Prince and Princess” 

About the Director
Brandon Cloyd joined Barrel of Monkeys in 2007 and has been deeply involved in many facets of the company ever since. Prior to joining BOM, Brandon graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Business Institutions. Within BOM, Brandon has served as an actor, teaching artist, lead teacher, a member of Teacher Corps, as well as directing shows for schools and public performances of That's Weird, Grandma. Before becoming the company’s Artistic Director in September 2017, Brandon served as BOM After-School Program Coordinator at Loyola Park from 2014-2016 and Program Director from 2016-2017. Outside of Barrel of Monkeys, he worked as the Associate Director of Camp Echo, where he has spent 13 summers managing campers and staff at a co-ed sleep away camp in Upstate New York. Brandon has worked with other theatre companies including Urban Theatre Company, American Theater Company, Filament Theatre, InGen Productions, ACLE's Teatrino in Italy and Purple Crayon Players at Northwestern University. Brandon recently joined the Board of Directors for the League of Chicago Theatres.

About Barrel of Monkeys
Since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997, its teaching artists have served more than 60 Chicago Public Schools. Over 15,000 elementary school students have participated in the Barrel of Monkeys programs, which aim to build students' writing skills, improve self-esteem, and instill confidence in their ideas and abilities.

Barrel of Monkeys is sponsored in part by Wintrust Financial, Allscripts, Inc., Ernst and Young and Punchkick Interactive. It receives generous support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency; the National Endowment for the Arts; a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; the Chicago Community Trust; Crown Family Philanthropies; Alphawood Foundation of Chicago; the Maurice R. and Meta G. Gross Foundation; Polk Bros Foundation; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; the Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc.; The Saints; The Topfer Family Foundation, and many other generous individuals and foundations. 

(left to right) Linsey Falls, Bryan Bosque, Gabriella Hirsch, Brandon Cloyd and Arielle Leverett perform “The Girl and The Panda” 

  (left to right) Gabriella Hirsch, Rachel Wilson, Nic Park and Carly Wicks perform “Glacier Living with Sharks”

 (left to right) Bryan Bosque, Gabriella Hirsch and Rachel Wilson perform “My Bugatti”
in Barrel of Monkeys’ all-musical revue THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Sing and Dance. All Production Photos by Evan Hanover.

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