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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, February 24

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Theater Wed May 23 2012

Barrel of Monkey's That's Weird, Grandma: Fun Theater by the Next Great Playwrights

BOM Summer 2 2012.jpg
Seventeen(!) entries make up the review That's Weird, Grandma (TWG), staged by Barrel of Monkeys (BOM), an education-arts theatre company whose mission includes fostering and supporting the creative voices (in an open teaching environment) Chicago Public School students since 1997.

BOM sponsors a six-week residency in creative writing for grades 3-5, culminating in the staged works held at the Neo-Futurarium. At the end of each residency, a collection of stories is selected for performance. This season's collection included vignettes from the sublimely ridiculous to the poignant reflection of loss.

Zombie Story (written by Ethan R., Loyola Park After School Program): It's a game show, a lot like the game Zombie Apocalypse, but if you want to survive a round to the winner's circle, you have to answer correctly questions like, "You find a strange man walking in the alley. Do you...Talk to him..."

Cheerleaders! (Julie F., 3rd grade, Cleveland), a rockin' and rollin' blow by blow about a cheerleading squad and the challenges and fun they have taking the title.

The Day I Was Catching Lightning Bugs (Antonio M., Dewey), about a boy catching 13 lightning bugs, keeping them in a jar for only a few minutes and releasing them into the night to relight the evening atmosphere -- and being OK with that.

D'Marris' (4th grade, Kohn) Super Wolf & Super Dog uses his tale of a superhero duo to tell about a father who passed away before his child could meet him. As Super Wolf and Super Dog commiserate and compliment one another on their super abilities, Super Wolf explains the origin of his powers: "I got my super powers from my granddad because my dad died when I was born". Super Dog consoles Super Wolf: "you still has you" (sic). Makes you think. We're sad for Super Wolf, and thank goodness he's got a best friend in Super Dog to show him the super power called "friendship."

This Sunday at 2pm is the last matinee performance, but there is an open run on Mondays at 8pm from here on out at the NeoFutrarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. Sunday, June 24, BOM is scheduled to perform at the Logan's Square Farmers' Market, at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival on Saturday, July 21, and on Wednesday, July 25 BOM opens their second home at the Logan Square Arts Center (2800 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor), with its production That's Weird, Abuelita running July 25 to Aug. 18, with performances in Spanish and English. For more information, visit the Barrel of Monkeys website.

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I Am Logan Square / May 23, 2012 4:44 PM

Hello! 2644 N. Milwaukee is actually our (I Am Logan Square) address. The Hairpin Arts Center where this event is taking place is 2800 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor. Great write up though, looks like an awesome event!

I Am Logan Square / May 23, 2012 5:04 PM

Also, the Logan Square Arts Festival is actually The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival. Info about the fest here:

Andrew Huff / May 24, 2012 11:14 AM

Thanks, we've made those corrections.

amyc / May 24, 2012 1:56 PM

Barrel of Monkeys is a great company doing great work! It's nice to see them get some love here. But although That's Weird, Grandma is performed at the Neo-Futurarium (and BOM and the Neos have shared many ensemble members over the years), BOM is not presented by the Neo-Futurists. BOM is a separate organization with its own staff, mission, and board of directors.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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