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Who’s Zoomin’ who? Profane puppets gab and sing in Ochre House’s new virtual production

Coppertone Jones and puppeteer
Coppertone Jones shown in an earlier live production in the Coppertone Jones series.(Ochre House Theater)

By Manuel Mendoza
10:37 AM on Sep 11, 2020

At Dallas' Ochre House Theater, where all of the content is generated from within, the vulgar hijinks are sometimes carried out by life-size, Japanese Bunraku-style rubber puppets manipulated and partially inhabited by troupe members.

One of the longest-running of these figures is Coppertone Jones, a degenerate gambler created and played by artistic director Matthew Posey. His latest adventure, Coppertone Jones' Amazing Traveling Side Show Corker, finds the green, Muppet-like character hosting a variety talk show on Zoom, as the pandemic has forced Ochre House to trade its minuscule Exposition Park storefront venue for an even smaller stage online.

Coppertone and his guests gab, sing and fling nasty quips on topics ranging from the current political climate to the kind of coronavirus-era entertainment they and everyone else are producing. Alongside the new Side Show Corker on its YouTube channel, the company is streaming past productions of Mousey, The Egg Salesman, Mrs. Haggardly, La Muerte de Don Quixote and Smile, Smile Again.

Manuel Mendoza is a freelance writer and a former staff critic at The Dallas Morning News.