The Broads Backstory
THE BROAD COMEDY INTERVIEW
By Karen Campbell, Boston Globe Correspondent | March 8, 2006
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 ‘‘I’m 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 Women’s Theatre Festival in Los Angeles, as well as a founding member of Spontaneous Combustibles Improvisational Comedy Troupe. Goodman wrote the show with 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: It’s more like I want to provoke our audience a little bit. Everybody’s frustrated with various things in the culture, and this is the best way I know how to handle it.
Q: And your husband [writes] the material, too?
A: Yes, [we collaborate, but in particular…] like the scene called ‘‘Park Bench Mothers,’’ where they’re talking about how there’s no actual words for oral sex for women and how unfair that is. They’re having this very funny and sort of heated intellectual conversation about something you wouldn’t normally talk like that about. I think he listens to me and my friends, and he’s taking mental notes, and we think, ‘‘Oh no, this is gonna be the next ‘Park Bench Mothers.’’’
Q: Is this a chick show?
A: It’s absolutely a great girls’ night out, but it’s also a good date night. Guys won’t cringe, except in a fun way…. 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 we’re bringing to Boston is a kind of ‘‘best of.’’ I picked Boston to open partly cause it’s a pre-New York town, but also because I know my way around here, and I’m totally sure Boston will like this show. It’s politically feisty, a little bit left, [big on] women’s 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. How’d you end up there?
A: My father moved to Bozeman, and my husband and I went to visit and fell in love. It’s 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 I’m much funnier now, happier, and nicer; and I think I have more to say.
Q: What’s your favorite bit in the show?
A: The spoof on the teen abstinence movement. It’s very simple satire making fun of something that is such a ridiculous issue, assuming that by not teaching kids about safe sex that’s keeping them from having sex. I feel very angry that we’re making our kids unsafe with abstinence-only education. But the piece is not bitter at all. I don’t think anything in ‘‘Broad Comedy’’ is bitter... And that’s different than what I grew up with in the women’s movement years ago. There’s no male-bashing [in our show]. I think the whole movement is getting past that, which is good. Ain’t nothing gonna happen with just half of us working on it.
Excepts from © Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company. For further information or an interview, contact us.