There is a great deal of heart — and other select body parts — in Broad Comedy, the way way left of center review currently running on Mondays at the Soho Playhouse. If the concept of a senior talking vagina giving dating advice to a teenage model of the same makes you laugh, this one’s for you. The program is heavy on the sex jokes plus witty cultural observations and of-the-moment politics. It’s distinctly “blue” in both the moral definition and also in the sense that the work is definitely not for the ears of anyone who voted Republican in 2016.
Musical comic, actress, author, speaker, and social activist Katie Goodman stars, delivering a high octane series of sketches, songs, and musical bumpers co-written and directed by her husband, Soren Kisiel. Her chatty rapport with the audience is genuine and delightful. She is flanked by a talented all-female ensemble, which in New York consists of Danielle Cohn, Molly Kelleher, Tana Sirois and Carlita Victoria. All have big smiles, strong voices and perfect articulation. The acting is at an early student level, but this isn’t intended to be Ibsen.
The lyrics rely heavily on the use of the F-word. There are also long asides recited over a single note in almost every song. These devices seem lazy given Goodman’s clear and strong opinions. Most non-musical sections bring a smile and several are big-laugh worthy. At a few intervals, Goodman asks the audience to participate, though mine was decidedly shy. Gags include the aforementioned wise vaginas and a team of uncooperative dancing boobs. Of the routines that stem from higher chakras, the right wing cheerleaders (pictured here) are among the most fully drawn. The modern twist on Vanilla Ice’s theme is genius. Another skit in which characters speak in Siri is just right. The only bit that fell completely flat featured two literal empty nesters who contemplate getting hooked on painkillers. This is one topic for which no amount of distance is enough.
The production values are stronger than one would expect in a stripped down vehicle. The show moves speedily, with the players making so many quick changes into cleverly designed costumes that at one point Katie had to check to make sure she was wearing a skirt. <She was.> The cute choreography is skillfully executed with the cast handily managing everything from baby carriages to guns. Only the scene changing soundtrack featuring Ariana Grande, Kay Boutilier and others of that ilk is ill-conceived given its glaring contrast to the style of the main event.
When you get tied of yelling along with Rachel Maddow, get out of the house and over to Broad Comedy. $35 tickets for performances Mondays at 7:30 are available now through March 26 and can be purchased at www.sohoplayhouse.com. After its current New York engagement, Broad Comedy will continue touring nationally, and at some stops will be raising money for feminist causes including Planned Parenthood. For more information on their ongoing adventures, please visit www.broadcomedy.com