Photo Flash: First Look at Barrel of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: BEHIND THE [MONKEY] MUSIC

Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to present THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Behind the [Monkey] Music, an all-musical revue featuring a full evening of student stories adapted into songs by Barrel of Monkeys talented team of composers, co-directed by Artistic Director Molly Brennan, Company Member Erick Deshaun Dorris and Musical Director Gwen Tulin. This first-ever Behind the [Monkey] Music retrospective will include live interviews with composers, adaptation anecdotes and onstage antics that have become the signature delight of That's Weird, Grandma. Scroll down for a sneak peek at the cast in action!

Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble now in its 16th season, conducts creative writing workshops with 3rd through 5th grade students in underserved Chicago Public Schools. The ensemble of actor-educators then turns their stories and words into professionally performed theater, presented both in-school and for the general public through its revues. Barrel of Monkeys annually performs more than 300 student-written stories for the students in their schools and 175 stories on the stage for the general public.

Clever and funny - touching and poignant - Barrel of Monkeys' collection of short sketches are equally entertaining for both adults and children. The line-up changes each week by audience vote - so no two shows are ever the same.

Barrel of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL, featuring an array of holiday themed favorites, continues through January 13, 2014. THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Winter Matinees (Sundays at 2 pm) will play January 26 - February 23, 2014.

THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Behind the [Monkey] Music, written by Chicago Public School Students and adapted for the stage by Barrel of Monkeys Company Members, features co-directors Molly Brennan, Erick Deshaun Dorris and Gwen Tulin. Starring Barrel of Monkeys Company Members at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago, March 2 - 31, 2014. Opens March 10. Curtain Times: Sundays at 2 pm and Mondays at 8 pm. Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 for children under 12. Tickets are available at www.barrelofmonkeys.org or by calling (312) 409-1954.

Photos by Maggie Fullilove-Nugent (unless otherwise specified).

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Photo Flash: First Look at Barrel of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: BEHIND THE [MONKEY] MUSIC
Lindsey Dorcus (center) and Barrel of Monkeys company members perform 'Big Hipped Martha'

Photo Flash: First Look at Barrel of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: BEHIND THE [MONKEY] MUSIC
Barrel of Monkeys company members

Photo Flash: First Look at Barrel of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: BEHIND THE [MONKEY] MUSIC
Barrel of Monkeys company members Annie Calhoun and Joseph Schupbach perform 'Grannies Lean Like a Cholo'. Photo by Dean Ponce.

Photo Flash: First Look at Barrel of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: BEHIND THE [MONKEY] MUSIC
Barrel of Monkeys company member Kate Staiger performs 'My Song (New Jersey)'. Photo by Beth Bullock.

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