By Marcie Hahn-Knoff Explorebigsky.com Contributor
The audience files out of the Emerson Center’s Crawford Theatre, their faces rosy and smiles wide. They chatter about the show thus far, trying to re-create their favorite sketches and cracking up while fumbling over the punch lines. One woman exclaims she laughed so hard during one sketch she almost peed.
Welcome to intermission at Broad Comedy.
The brainchild of husband-and-wife duo Soren Kisiel and Katie Goodman, Broad Comedy mixes comedy, music and dance into sketches with a focus on women’s issues in women’s voices. Kisiel and Goodman co-write and co-direct the show – Goodman and a handful of other talented women, also known as ‘broads,’ perform the sketches.
The show has a new script every year, and the selections for the coming season are kept quiet so as not to ruin the surprise. Goodman and Kisiel are cut out for the annual undertaking: Kisiel is a gifted comedic writer who has a keen grasp on women’s studies, and Goodman, daughter of a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, is a critically acclaimed musical comic herself.
Broad Comedy is left-leaning, liberal, edgy and thought provoking, as well as R-rated. Hot-button women’s and progressive issues such as parenting, reproductive rights, science, healthcare and politics provide an impressive array of fodder for the creation of the sketches.
“Broad Comedy shares a woman’s eye on culture and politics,” Goodman says. “It is a very different [view] than what you normally see in the news and media.”
The show debuted in Bozeman in 1999, when George H. W. Bush was elected into office. Goodman and Kisiel saw it as a way to communicate real issues and concerns in a comedic frame. Since those early days, Broad Comedy has traveled all over the U.S. and abroad, with casts in Bozeman, Los Angeles, New York and Boston – gaining critical acclaim along the way.
Kisiel and Goodman called Bozeman home for nearly 15 years before moving full time to New York City several years ago; today, Goodman still refers to her Bozeman cast as her “home team.” Goodman, Maggie Garver, Erin Roberg, Cara Wilder and the newest cast member local celebrity DJ Missy O’Malley, use Bozeman as a proving ground for new material.
The most recent incarnation of Broad Comedy will premier this November in Bozeman, featuring new sketches, songs and dance numbers. Since the show is heavily based on current events, some material is still being written to reflect real time politics – the performance happens after the November elections. Fans will be delighted to see recurring characters with fresh dialogue such as the park bench mothers, as well as new material including a roller derby sketch featuring the local Gallatin Roller Girlz.
In the meantime, Goodman will be flying back and forth from New York in preparation for the show. Her solo musical comedy career is blooming – she will be featured in the New York Comedy Festival on Nov. 7. One recent video on her YouTube channel has more than 400,000 views, and her combined channel has received more than a million views.
“I love performing, writing and creating, changing up my material and trying something new,” Goodman says. On the horizon, she sees more touring for Broad Comedy, professional writing for online publications such as the Huffington Post, and putting together more shows in new markets.
“Everyone gets burned out,” Goodman says. “Broad Comedy helps our audience get a better perspective on the world, inspires them and gives them renewed energy.”
Broad Comedy runs in Bozeman at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, Nov. 15-17. The show is appropriate for attendees 18 and older, and typically sells out in advance. Tickets are available at broadcomedy.com and at Cactus Records on Main Street.
Marcie Hahn-Knoff is a proud member of the Gallatin Roller Girlz roller derby team and is looking forward to watching GRG in their ‘roll on’ cameo at Broad Comedy. When not skating or writing, she assists her clients purchase or sell their own little piece of Big Sky country as a real estate broker with Winter & Company Real Estate. Find her at homeinbigsky.com.