Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

That's Weird, Grandma

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Barrel of Monkeys retains its foolproof central conceit for this new evening of short plays by Chicago Public School students, grades three through six. Performed by a troupe of adult hipsters and cheerfully produced with the shabby budget of a Charlie Brown Christmas pageant, the resulting madcap hour has the broadest appeal of any play I've ever seen. (Most grown-up writers would be envious.) Director Halena Kays is greatly aided by Jonathan Mastro's excellent musical direction, and 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. Open run: Mon 8 PM. No show 11/1. Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 312-409-1954. $5-$10.

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