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.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.