Posted by Joe on March 30, 2016
The That’s Weird, Grandma 15th Anniversary Show is just around the corner! Here is a wishlist list from company member Meredith!
This is my 10th season with Barrel of Monkeys and I couldn’t be more excited to participate in the 15 year Anniversary of TWG! Picking 15 stories is an impossible task. My original list had over 30 stories, including most from the 10 year anniversary and Loyola Park Live. However, painfully I did it.
Drum Roll Please.
Top 15 TWG stories to hit the Neofuturist Theater stage are:
#15 The Bulls Game, Michael E. & Napoleon N. Paderewski Elementary
I have a video of this on my phone. When I need a good laugh, I watch Tom M. and Jeff T. freak out. I can’t get enough of this play.
#14 Untitled (Horsewolf) Tamarra M., Dewey School of Excellence
If you haven’t seen Horsewolf… you haven’t been to TWG in years. This is a killer adaptation and a killer song. I love horsewolf.
#13 Girl Who Had A Monkey Parianna B., New Sullivan School
Parianna must have watched Dieter’s Dance Party from SNL in the nineties. When I read her journal, it was all I could think about. “Touch my monkey”
#12 Magical Place Dulce H. 4th Grade, CEA
I love nothing more than performing in “magical place”. Really, I could stay there forever.
#11 The Biggest Fight Ever By Richard R., 4th Grade, Cleveland Elementary 2007
My first year in Barrel of Monkey’s, I took home and adapted a fart joke. It ended up on WTTW. Yes, live television. To all Fart Joke writers- keep writing. Boom Ka Boom!
#10 Attack of the Russian Army Jaycee S, Andrew P, Paco O., Jessica V., Jazmin H, Jose G., 4th Grade, Orchard Place
I’ll never forget Brennan plugging the fan into his coffee mug, or Rachel’s seductive Russian accent, or Tai and Curtis’s Russian henchmen. “Mr. fan-tastic”
#9 I am Taylor the Rose Naheige L. 4th Grade Cleveland Elementary 2007
Laura Mac’s character work on Taylor is to die for. I could watch Taylor for hours. I want to meet Taylor.
#8 The Dance of Yousail Marcia, 4th Grade Chalmers School 2008
I think this is one of the most unique adaptations I’ve ever been a part of in Barrel of Monkeys; the costumes, the song, the choreography, the characters. More Joe-Joe please!
#7 My Streets is always Quiet Takayla N. New Sullivan School
Can’t listen to or sing this song without getting a tear in my eye. It is a life changer.
#6 Everyone Get Married Sade T., Brian H., Eva S., Bailey G., and Israel E., Graham Elementary School
The character work on this piece is magic. I had the pleasure of choosing this group story for my cast and then directing its adaptation. I couldn’t stop laughing when i read it at home, and then couldn’t stop laughing when it was performed. Thank goodness Brandon had those snake eyes in his backpack!
#5 Good Days Julian S. & Damarcus G. 4th Grade, Dixon
From the minute this play hit the stage in rehearsal, we all knew it was a hit. The weird hand gestures of Chris Matthews and Ryan Walters were only exaggerated by other cast members in its long TWG run. “gotta get them jordans!”
#4 The Time we had a snowball fight Dionta S. 4th Grade, Kohn
This is mind blowing. Everyone always asked me- “is snowball fight in”. Alas, it’s been over 2 years since we’ve seen it!
#3 Untitled (I remember when my uncle dunked on Mr. Blager) Rael W. 3rd Grade, New Sullivan
Both Matt Miller and Kurt Chang made me cry with laughter as Mr. Blager. “Mr. Blager!!!”
#2 Bunny Madness Roxette, 4th grade Cleveland School
I remember when Laura Mac brought this amazing song into the rehearsal room with a bunch of disclaimers. After she played it, we dismissed them immediately. Everyone should be “free outside the toilet”
#1 The Fight Between Franklin and the Mouse By Mae O, Kai C, Ben W, Molly Jo K, Rashele O, Linda L, Jahnese A, 3rd Grade, Lincolnwood Elementary 2012
I got to direct Lincolnwood (our suburban residency in Evanston) two years in a row. I loved this entire show, especially this amazing adaption by Lindsey Dorcus (the only lady in the cast!) & Brandon Cloyd. I finally got to pick a music track for a story!
See you at the show!
More information about THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: 15th ANNIVERSARY SHOW directed by Joseph Schupbach and Halena Kays
Company members old and new will reunite as Barrel of Monkeys celebrates 15 years of its hit revue THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA with two special anniversary performances on Sunday April 17 at 2 pm and Monday, April 18 at 8 pm at its long-time home, the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available here!
The special 90-minute production will feature 30 sketches and songs, two from each of the 15 years THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA has been performed at Neo-Futurist theater, including plenty of audience favorites. Directed by current Artistic Director Joseph Schupbach and Founding Artistic Director Halena Kays, the 15TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS will feature long-time company members, as well as out-of-town artists returning to the show they performed in years ago. Back in the booth is Maggie Fullilove-Nugent, who served as the company’s stage manager for ten years. All of the stories are written by Chicago Public School students and adapted for the stage by Barrel of Monkeys Company Members. The 15TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW cast includes active members Ashley Bland, Kassi Bleifuss, Brandon Cloyd, Anthony Courser, Lindsey Dorcus, Linsey Falls, Michael Govier, Nick Hart, Mary Winn Heider, Jennifer Johnson, Elizabeth Levy, Laura McKenzie, Spencer Meeks, Matt Miller, Meredith Milliron, Shá Norman, Tai Palmgren, Zoe Schwartz, Jason Sperling, Kate Staiger, Brad Stevens, Rawson Vint, Curtis Williams and Rachel Wilson.
Emeritus and out-of-town members include Brenda Arellano, Lisa Barker, Brennan Buhl, Sarah Garner, Luke Hatton (former Artistic Director), Mike Lubin, Tom Malinowski, Philip Markle, Jonathan Mastro, Lauren Sharpe, Eric Silverberg, Mike Spatafora, Kristie Vuocolo (former Executive Director), Ryan Walters and Donnell Williams.
“I am absolutely thrilled about this celebration! I have the incredible opportunity to co-direct with Founding Artistic Halena Kays, who led the company for ten years – and welcome back alumni into the cast. My relationship with ‘Grandma’ now spans eleven years, so I’m delighted to put some of my favorite stories back on stage. Long-time audience members will enjoy some ‘oldies’ and brand new audience will be delighted to see this mega-sized cast perform the written work of Chicago Public Schools students. There will be song, dance, puppets, short films, surprises, blasts from the past and much more. It will undoubtedly be a magical place to spend 90 minutes.” -Artistic Director Joseph Schupbach