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With song and satire, the fun is infectious

Anyone who has ever argued that feminists have no sense of humor needs to go directly to the Stuart Street Playhouse, where ''Broad Comedy" is settling in on Saturday nights for an open-ended run. If this irreverent, giddy, snarky-perky collage of satire, sketch comedy, and cheerleading doesn't make you laugh, then either you are incapable of laughter or you are Dick Cheney. Or, of course, both.

The six members of the ''Broad Comedy" troupe, led by writer/composer/director/performer Katie Goodman, get the audience warmed up before letting loose with the more political numbers of the 90-minute show. Just about anyone, except perhaps people who make a living from bikini waxes, can laugh at the opening song, a deftly reworked ''Cabaret" sendup called ''Mein Hair." From the moment Goodman rhymes ''frau" with ''unibrow," you know you're in for an evening of sharp writing and playful performance.

It's not all musical fun and games, though -- sometimes the fun and games just involve talking. ''The Active Egg" gives us a businesslike ovum reviewing the résumés of several potential mates; ''I Hear What You're Saying" pushes male-sensitivity training to its absurd limits. But some of the funniest moments do come with their own scores: ''It's Great to Wait," a gospel-tinged paean to abstinence, and that old favorite from ''Oklahoma!" (or is it ''South Dakota!"?), ''The Pro-Life and the Pro-Choice Should Be Friends."

If that song oversimplifies the arguments on both sides, it still manages to provoke and amuse in the same breath. And, here as elsewhere, the actors demonstrate their singing and dancing chops along with their impeccable comic timing. It gets you ready for the gleeful swoops and pirouettes of the big finale, ''Housewife: The Ballet."

A couple of the sketches, particularly the first of two ''Park Bench Mothers" scenes, could use some tightening. These dirty-talking mamas do make us laugh, but it's also an idea that has shown up elsewhere, and the scene goes on a little too long. Still, the characters certainly do expand our vocabularies, particularly in their second scene -- just not in a way that can be described here. (Speaking of mothers, Globe columnist Ellen Goodman is the director's.)

Come to think of it, even Cheney might have to concede the humor of ''The United States Extreme Right Wing Cheerleading Squad." Women who can execute a perfect ponytail toss and gleaming smile while ridiculing the notion of hidden weapons of mass destruction -- now, that's funny.

Louise Kennedy can be reached at

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