Fringe review: Pack Animals

PACK ANIMALS by Holly M. Brinkman & S.E. Grummett (Scantily Glad Theatre/Fringe). At Randolph Theatre. July 9 at 8:30 pm,.


PACK ANIMALS by Holly M. Brinkman & S.E. Grummett (Scantily Glad Theatre/Fringe). At Randolph Theatre. July 9 at 8:30 pm, July 10 at 10:15 pm, July 11 at 1 pm, July 13 at 2:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

An overachieving Woodpecker scout (Holly M. Brinkman) and a reluctant Beaver camper (S.E. Grummett) become stranded in the woods and must learn to work together to master the environment if they want to get back to their respective troupes. That’s the logline for this odd-couple adventure, but Brinkman and Grummet’s ribald show is actually more about exploring gender identity and sexuality than the great outdoors.

Pack Animals opens with a scene of the two quarreling over the best spot to shit in the woods, and follows that up with set pieces that include a mosquito-induced burlesque number and a series of “Canada’s Hinterland”-themed vignettes about the various wildlife the two have encountered (sexually). There’s a special guest “mansplainer” for every performance (at ours, it was The Resistance: Improvised’s Jon Blair as a dense cowboy who wanders in and out of their campsite), and a number of ukulele songs aimed at cis men who tell women and non-binary people “how they’re existing wrong,” and tell the touring duo “how we’re doing comedy wrong.”

We would not presume to do the same, especially given the audience’s clear delight at, say, Grummet’s description of their gender expression and fashion motif as “kindergartner on the first day of school.”

@GracingTheStage

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