written by kids. performed by grownups. enjoyed by humans.

On stage now…
That’s Weird, Grandma: Rise of the Rock Spectacular

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Sundays at 2pm and Mondays at 8pm, March 5 - March 27

All of your favorite stories, but re-imagined as an epic concert, featuring wildly talented Monkey musicians, actors, and all-around rock stars. You’ve never seen Grandma rock like this.

What is That’s Weird, Grandma?

That’s Weird, Grandma is a variety show of short sketches and songs adapted from stories written by students in Barrel of Monkeys’ arts education programs. The weekly show, now in its 16th year, runs the gamut from clever and funny to touching and poignant, and includes live music, original song-and-dance numbers, wigs and props galore, and a rotating cast of talented professional actors who celebrate the imaginations of children through this raucous performance.

You probably already knew that the show changes every week, as we adapt new stories and audience members vote on their favorites. But did you ALSO know that we divide the show into “Rounds” with special themes, in order to keep the show fresh and exciting for you?

Upcoming Rounds!

That’s Weird, Grandma: Rise of the Rock Spectacular
March 5 - March 27, Sundays at 2pm and Mondays at 8 pm
Enjoy this all musical round of the show, featuring stories conceived and written by Chicago Public School students and adapted into a full hour of original songs, complete with a new opening band each week!

That’s Weird, Grandma: I Still Know What You Did Last Spring
April 24 – May 22, Mondays at 8 pm
Time to get out of the house and enjoy the outside world again after a long Chicago winter. Celebrate spring with a weekly dose of theater by children!

That’s Weird, Grandma: Attack of the Phantom of the BBQ

June 19 – July 17, & August 7 – 28, Mondays at 8 pm
A collection of brand new adaptations from the 2016-17 school year wraps-up Barrel of Monkeys’ 20th Anniversary season. Be the first to see the stories newly added to the That’s Weird, Grandma repertoire!


Some reviews of the show...

“THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA is for everyone. Everything about Barrel of Monkeys is amazing, their talent for teaching and acting, their mission and vision, their impact, and how they put a smile on everyone’s face.”

–Eden Diez, Buzz Chicago

“Audience members can expect to spend most of the show uncontrollably laughing, giggling, snorting, and perhaps accidentally farting from the abundance of laughing, giggling and snorting. ”

–Ashley Campbell, Edge Media Network

“...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

Read more reviews

Collect Your That’s Weird, Grandma Buttons!

All of our audience members go home with a collectible button from the round of the show they attend. Besides being super fun to collect, present 4 or more different buttons from different rounds of the show to the box office and get a free Barrel of Monkeys messenger bag… which is a pretty perfect place to display all your buttons. While supplies last!


What's New in TWG?

Young People Get It.

Posted by Corinne on November 11

Our students are young, but they are not naïve. They know exactly what took place at the ballot box this week, and inside each of their brilliant minds are opinions and questions and hopes and fears about the future. … More

Inside the Monkeys Studio: Interview with Rawson Vint

Posted by Eunice on July 10

With The Ten Diamonds and Sisters by Michelle A. from the Johnson School of Excellence slated to go into TWG on Monday, I sat down with Rawson Vint, the mastermind behind adapting this story into a song. We chatted about… More

Read more in the Monkey Blog

“You made writing so much fun. You sure have encouraged me to bring out my feelings. I did not hate any of it. Thank you for everything.”

–Cynthia, 4th Grade, Lee School