Matthew Reddin
A sisterhood of comedians takes aim at a new target


By - Jun 14th, 2011 04:00 am

The women of Broadminded Comedy.

No matter how weird your family is (or how weird they think you are), just remember you’ve got one advantage over the families related to the four women of Broadminded Comedy: Your quirks aren’t going to get retrofitted into a hilarious sketch routine.

Then again, maybe that’s a downside too.

In Blood is Thicker Than Liquor, the broads’ latest sketch comedy show opening Thursday, members Anne Graff-LaDisa, Melissa Kingston, Stacy Babl and Megan McGee have made their particular breed of humor a family affair, and they’re inviting us to the proverbial reunion.

The women are well-practiced for turning their families’ foibles into comedy — the troupe has been putting on shows in Milwaukee for just over five years, having formed in 2006 as a response to an all-male group in the area (which is now defunct). Originally consisting of seven women, Broadminded’s ranks slimmed after their first show, resulting in the current team of four.

Only the experience of those years will be brought to the table with Blood is Thicker Than Liquor, though. Graff-LaDisa said the show consists of all new sketches, focusing on the interplay of family relationships.

Kingston said it’s hard to gauge what their best sketches are before they face an audience, as “sometimes things are funnier in our heads,” but she and Graff-LaDisa did say one of their favorites was a group sketch featuring the broads as vampires on a reality TV show, drawing inspiration from the recent rash of all things vampire thanks to a softened image a la Twilight.

“Vampires used to be something,” Graff-LaDisa said. “Now they’re something…else.”

Some of those sketches are of the more fanciful variety — such as one where Graff-LaDisa and Kingston play a vaudeville sister act who treat each other exactly the same on and off stage — but many of the sketches have a basis in the families of the broads themselves.

While bringing such “real-life” quirks on stage might seem like a potentially dangerous idea, Kingston and Graff-LaDisa eschew such concerns.

“Our families are pretty used to seeing their influence in shows by now,” Kingston said. “I think that’s why they come.”

Graff-LaDisa agreed, adding that the show is perhaps more relatable since it’s based on real-life events. After all, “everybody laughs about their family.” Family may be a serious business offstage, but on stage laughter is the goal, and the broads say there’s a sketch for everyone in Blood is Thicker Than Liquor.

But maybe don’t go home and try Broadminded’s methods on your family — if you’re not an accomplished comedian, they might take it a bit differently.

Blood is Thicker Than Liquor premieres Thursday at the Alchemist Theatre, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., at 8 p.m., with repeat shows June 23-25 at 8 p.m. and June 26 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or at the Alchemist’s website.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us