Orlando Fringe 2016 Review: Sex with Animals

By : Billy Manes
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Sex With Animals
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Preceded by all of the word-of-mouth any Fringe show could ever hope for, Ryan Good’s one-man show Sex With Animals should have been a disappointment; that is the Fringe way, after all: overstatement pleases crowds, leaves critics wanting. But Sex with Animals isn’t that kind of beast. Good’s toured the show globally, and he is clearly comfortable with everything he’s doing here. What is he doing here? He’s talking about sex and animals and gathering laughs, while, in the larger scheme, he’s talking about human sexuality, humor and humility at the spine of behavioral existence. He’s talking about everything in his life while wearing a lion costume replete with a mane and some furry boots adorning a bodysuit. He’s talking a lot. And, like exhibitionist comedians before him – see, Maria Bamford – he’s doing it at a fascinating and engaging clip.

First off, Sex with Animals is a sociopolitcal statement. The show begins with evangelical hellraiser Pat Robertson making a reference to people having sex with animals, you know, because gay marriage happened. Good, who openly identifies as bisexual and polyamorous – makes the best of that kick-off framing by indulging the audience with all of the sexual deviance that happens between members of various species – tortoises and penguins,  you’re on alert – and explains that, basically, none of us are normal, and if you are, you’re boring. “A worldwide bestiality movement” is mentioned, but that’s not what Good is here for. Keeping his stuffed animal “Shadynasty” on a chair in the corner, he traverses all of the cavities we seek for joy: self-fellation, anal sex, just rubbing up against something and turning into a flower shape. Anything goes, really, and all of it does.

But there’s something incredibly warming about Good and his show, something to his honesty that feeds a lyrical rhythm that turns from wide-eyed crowd participation to serious (though comedic) staccato. Good was recently in a “triad” relationship and speaks of it joyfully, then wanly as he recounts its implosion. He’s now in another relationship and he’s a father. Who wouldn’t want a lion-actor as a father?

And when the show does meander off into biology, it snaps back almost immediately with compassion. The closing salvo of miniature rants is the stuff dreams are made of, spittle and glee included. This show is what Fringe was built for. Do not miss.

Read all of Watermark’s 2016 Orlando Fringe Theatre Festival coverage here.

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