Ochre House’s Blink Delivers Eye-opening Pokes at Rich Rat-Bastards

Christopher Sykes meets life (and puppet angel) head-on in Kevin Grammer’s new play-with-music Blink at Ochre House.EXPAND
Christopher Sykes meets life (and puppet angel) head-on in Kevin Grammer’s new play-with-music Blink at Ochre House.
Karlos X. Ramos

Blink, a sour-then-sweet new play-with-music written and directed by Ochre House regular Kevin Grammer, echoes the theme of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in its lesson about not wasting life fiddling with material possessions.

“Shit happens in a blink of an eye,” sings Marti Etheridge in the first of the folky musical numbers written by Brian and Scott Shaddock (who play live onstage and sometimes carry on conversations about the meaning of time), with lyrics by Carla Parker.

Etheridge plays Sloan, snooty wife of rat-bastard young 1-percenter Derek (Chris Sykes). After a car wreck (achieved onstage by a simple but ingenious effect), Derek is visited by a strange angel (puppet by Justin Locklear) who takes him on a journey through his life to make amends with loved ones. These include mega-rich parents (Parker and Ben Bryant, dressed like Thurston Howell III), hippie sister (Danielle Bondurant) and best friend Brody (Matthew Holmes).

References to the lion-shooting dentist, the price-gouging cancer drug guy and Trump’s xenophobia pop up in Grammer’s loose and funny dialogue. Wildly profane and sometimes just silly, Blink ultimately delivers a nice message about how to see life more clearly. A final surprise from the corrugated cardboard scenery by Matthew Posey and Isaac Davies leaves everyone’s eyes a little misty. As always, Ochre House manages to put big ideas on its tiny stage. Lots to think about in Blink.

Blink continues through November 21 at Ochre House, 825 Exposition Ave. Tickets $17 at the door (cash or check only), 214-826-6273 or ochrehousetheater.org. Pay-what-you-can night, 8 p.m. Monday, November 9.

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