Daniel Packard's Live Group Sex Therapy Show - gird your loins

Daniel Packard's Live Group Sex Therapy; you know what they say about bald men...
Anna Russell
September 6th, 2008

I know Daniel Packard is a talented comedian because I've seen him before.  At Pacific Contact in 2007 he managed to make a room full of senior (as in older) arts programmers actually look forward to the MC.

That time he worked from personal material: getting his father to say he was proud of him. I laughed, oh I laughed. And then at the end I cried a little bit because he said something real and true about the love in families.

This time he's working from material you provide. It's called the Live Group Sex Therapy Show and he's not kidding. He wants to know about your sex life and your relationships and then he's got some advice to give.  Which might work, maybe, except it was one in the afternoon the time I went, there were only about 20 people in the audience, and he wanted them, without the benefit of access to alcohol, to tell the group what names they like to be called in bed.

He's depending on the generosity of strangers, and the strangers there today weren't feeling that generous.  Including yours truly, who wasn't quite sure why I would want to talk about my sex life for the amusement of strangers (should you be reviewing Fringe shows? my husband asked me) and didn't realize I was supposed to come to the theatre today with _problems_.  I happen to be happy right now. I can't remember any issues; you should have asked me two years ago.  You can tell already that despite some funny moments and a man who worked really hard, this didn't go really well.

He also seemed to want to lead some therapy. (I know, I shouldn't be surprised. Look at the title; I guess I forgot to before I went in.) He might be a comedian, but gosh darn, he's deep-down, genuinely a tiny bit serious that he's got some insight to share. The merger of comedy and well-intentioned sage sits oddly in the room, neither fish nor fowl, neither Fringe nor Freud. It's as if Oprah became a man with lots of chest hair and a relentless sex drive, and started a career in comedy.

Packard's basic message is that both genders need to take more, and more honest, chances with each other. Good advice, as far as it goes.  The same rules apply to comedy, apparently.  Everyone in the room was waiting for someone else to divulge something personal first - to provide the amusement. This show would be totally different on a different day, or at night, for that matter.

Go to see Daniel Packard, but be prepared to offer yourself up, or else it won't work and the man will sink.  For myself, I promise never to review another stand-up comedy show.  And Daniel, you're funny.  Just for god's sake don't try to help.

Spontania Productions. Written and Performed by Daniel Packard, Vancouver BC. 

For show information and an opportunity to share your sexual fantasies with Plank Magazine (we'll keep them to ourselves, promise) go here.