That’s Weird, Grandma has received favorable reviews from the following publications: The Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut Chicago, The Chicago Reader, Chicago Social Magazine, La Raza, Inside, MetroMix, PerformINK, Chicago Arts & Entertainment, The Daily Northwestern and The Illinois Reading Council Journal.

BOM has also been featured on WBEZ’s 848, WTTW’s Artbeat Chicago, CLTV’s
MetroMix - The TV Show, and WGN-TV’s Saturday evening news.

So respectful of how kids think, it sidesteps 'Kids-Say-the-Darndest-Things' syndrome, veering into lunacy, social criticism, even poignancy.”

Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune

“[Barrel of Monkeys'] dedication to harnessing the boldest, funniest, smartest, and sublimest streaks in their kids' literary inventions means they're not just monkeying around. It's a barrel of fun.”

Jena Cutie, Chicago Reader

“The audience, made up of adults, teenagers, and adults who act like children, was in stiches. The clean humor, awww worthy moments, incredible musical talent of the cast, and the honest and touching children's stories was a perfect storm of perfection.

Kendall Guimond, Buzznews.net

“...between songs, the performers gave more insight into the work they do with the students, describing prompting them with pictures and memories, and teaching them about personal narrative and persuasive argument. This inclusion kept the adult in me interested in Barrel of Monkeys and the importance of their work, while the guilelessness of the children’s material, enhanced by the creativity of the performers, kept the kid in me laughing and giggly for an entire hour.

Colleen Cottet, Edgechicago.com

“...the class-clown performers boast talent matched only by their altruism, and abandon matched only by their expertise. This group is funnier than anything at Second City, more genuinely creative than anything at Lookingglass, and does more good than all the other nonprofit theaters in town put together. If you don't have a good time, there's something wrong with you.”

Christopher Piatt, Chicago Reader

“The only disappointing part of this hour-long show is hearing the words 'the end.' These are some of the funniest nonfamous people in the city, every time I see them they exceed my expectations.”

Jenn Goddu, Chicago Reader

“Audiences can sense that all of the actors are having a great time and giving it their all during the show. Best yet? It's perfect for all ages.”

Dennis Mahoney, Centerstage.net

“...a retrospective that's part pep rally, part musical theater extravaganza - and one of the most real, uplifting and engaging theatrical experiences in town.”

Lucia Mauro, ChicagoTheater.com

“Barrel of Monkeys does it all for the children. Their screwball evening of short plays is written by Chicago public school students and performed with abandon to match. The fact that it's also the most entertaining show an adult might stumble upon is just a happy coincidence. The best reason we can think of to live in Chicago on a Monday.”

Christopher Piatt, TimeOut Chicago

“I think all ages would like this play. Grownups would like the play because grownups like funny. I think people would like it because it is very good and the acting is good and everything about it is thrilling. I think Barrel of Monkeys want to make everybody happy who comes to see the show. I think they think the kids who write the stories are smart and cool.”

Ada Grey, age 6, Ada Grey Reviews for You

From the Blog

The Monkey Minute!

Posted by Amanda Farrar on April 09

Barrel of Monkeys has upwards of 65 active members. These company and ensemble members lovingly refer to themselves as “Monkeys”. Monkeys act as teaching artists in the classroom, adapt the stories written by the students for the stage, perform them for… More

The Monkey Minute!

Posted by Amanda Farrar on March 18

After teaching creative writing residencies in a Chicago Public School or the Chicago Park District, teaching artists collect the students’ notebooks and share them with several of the company’s ensemble of professional actors and musicians. Together, the teaching artists,… More

The Monkey Minute!

Posted by Amanda Farrar on March 11

In each and every school show since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997, one or more student-written stories have been adapted into song for the stage. Multiply that by upwards of 15 original school shows each year, and you have a couple… More

Read more in the Monkey Blog

“BOM teachers went the extra mile to incorporate our curriculum objectives.”

–4/5th Grade Teacher, Morton Academy