No, the two arent mutually exclusive. Yes, Katie Goodman, the creator of Broad Comedy, is pretty funny. No, shes not into male bashing. Yes, she thinks the idea of teen abstinence is hysterical.
They sing, they dance, and they impersonate familiar politicos. They dress up as eager sperm lobbying an egg, as cranky nursing mothers who sing about All That Crap, and as teenage girls enamored by the youth abstinence movement who perform a little ditty called Im Saving My Hymen for Jesus.
They are the six irreverent and very funny women who perform Broad Comedy, and they bring a distinctly liberal and provocatively feminist approach to sketch comedy. Winner of Best of Vancouver Fringe Fest 2005, Broad Comedy has been called a cross between Saturday Night Live and The Vagina Monologues. The show offers its unflinching satire Saturday nights in March at the Stuart Street Playhouse.
Broad Comedy is led by Brookline native Katie Goodman, the daughter of Globe columnist Ellen Goodman. Goodman, 37, now makes her home in Bozeman, Mont. as do three other members of the Broad cast and is a founder of the National Womens Theatre Festival in Los Angeles, as well as a founding member of Spontaneous Combustibles Improvisational Comedy Troupe. Goodman wrote most of the show, with a few contributions from her husband, playwright Soren Kisiel. She took a few minutes to talk about Broad Comedy between rehearsals at the Stuart.
Q Did you get into this because you have some things to get off your chest?
A Its more like I want to provoke our audience a little bit. Everybodys frustrated with various things in the culture, and this is the best way I know how to handle it.
Q And your husband wrote some of the material, too?
A Yes, like the scene called Park Bench Mothers, where theyre talking about how theres no actual words for oral sex for women and how unfair that is. Theyre having this very funny and sort of heated intellectual conversation about something you wouldnt normally talk like that about. I think he listens to me and my friends, and hes taking mental notes, and we think, Oh no, this is gonna be the next Park Bench Mothers.
QIs this a chick show?
A Its absolutely a great girls night out, but its also a good date night. Guys wont cringe, except in a fun way. Back home, audiences come over and over, and the men are half to a third [of the audience] every night. These guys come back, and they stop us on the street and ask when the next Broad show is happening. We do a new show once a year, and a couple of times a year a best of show. What were bringing to Boston is a kind of best of. I picked Boston to open partly cause its a pre-New York town, but also because I know my way around here, and Im totally sure Boston will like this show. Its politically feisty, a little bit left, womens issues. ..... I might not know how it would do in Houston, but I understand Boston.
Q Though you grew up here, back home is now Bozeman, Montana. Howd you end up there?
A My father moved to Bozeman, and my husband and I went to visit and fell in love. Its a little cultural mecca in the middle of Montana.
Q How does that impact your take on things?
A I still spend a lot of time in New York, LA, and Vancouver, but it allows me to step back out of the craziness. Bozeman is a bit of a salve, a place where I can get grounded. I would say Im much funnier now, happier, and nicer; and I think I have more to say.
Q Whats your favorite bit in the show?
A The spoof on the teen abstinence movement. Its very simple satire making fun of something that is such a ridiculous issue, assuming that by not teaching kids about safe sex thats keeping them from having sex. I feel very angry that were making our kids unsafe with an abstinence-only education. But the piece is not bitter at all. I dont think anything in Broad Comedy is bitter, even the feminism. And thats different than what I grew up with in the womens movement years ago. Theres no male-bashing. I think the whole movement is getting past that, which is good. Aint nothing gonna happen with just half of us working on it.