By Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen. Photos courtesy of The Bro Show / Courtney Wahlstrom and Dana Whissen.
On Sunday, May 19th, the creators behind Phoenix’s all-female, sketch show and critical, comedic force against overt masculinity will be bringing Brochella to the Trunk Space. The show is an entire line-up of strictly female musicians and artists for a one-night-only show.
In the style of parodying the masculinity found in the broad comedy scene, The Bro Show’s Courtney “C-Dog” Wahlstrom and Dana “Angus” Whissen will be donning their signature “bro” outfits as they play host to a pertinent lineup of female acts.
This time, they’re playing host to a slew of curated female artists spanning across the genre spectrum. Echo caught up with the masterminds themselves where we learned the origins of what would become their first music-based event:
“Brochella is our first non-comedy event,” said Dana Whissen, one half of The Bro Show.
“We realized that the local music scene is very similar to comedy in the lack of representation for women creatives,” said Courtney Wahlstrom, other half of The Bro Show duo. “We’ve incorporated music into our live shows but it’s just us and it’s usually a song or two during the show.”
“We will still be doing comedy as Angus and C-Dog [our counterparts], but it just won’t be the sole focus of the show,” said Whissen.
The Bro Show began as a direct-action response to the long-standing masculine traditions found in modern comedy. Instead of recoiling from the culture’s aesthetic, Wahlstrom and Whissen have wholeheartedly re-appropriated it to ridiculous comedic effect in sketch comedy form. On their diverse fanbase, Whissen acknowledged the large support they have received from both sides of the gender spectrum:
“We have a bunch of male supporters, which is so amazing,” said Dana Whissen. “They respect what we’re doing and understand that we aren’t man-haters.”
“At first, I was definitely concerned about backlash, or being shoved into a ‘man hating feminist’ box; we’ve have skeptics, but they changed their mind once they saw the show,” said Courtney Wahlstrom.
“I accepted the fact that the idea alone is political but I’m okay with having those uncomfortable conversations.”
“They enjoy the show for what it is, a comedy show,” Whissen continued.
“We’ve had male comedians book the two of us on their shows to help give The Bro Show more visibility. I’m sure we have some haters out there, but if we do, they haven’t been vocal about it.”
In regard to the show, Wahlstrom doubled down on their decision to book It’s Embarrassing, Critical Miss, Sex Lasagna, Ms. Beezy, Shannon Ramsey, and Ambition:
I’ve seen about half of our lineup perform live, I know a few of them personally, and a few were heavily recommended when I started booking,” said Courtney Wahlstorm.
“Similar to what The Bro Show has done for comedy, I want people who are involved in the music scene to start asking questions — ‘why weren’t there any women on the show?’ ‘Why was this show twenty-three straight white dudes talking about how their ex-girlfriend is mean?'”
Whissen also said to not only expect bands, solo acts, rappers, but tons of energy, chanting, yelling, dancing, and hugging, specifically. Although they are still working out the sponsors, both hosts confirmed their enthusiasm in creating more events out of The Bro Show brand.
“The Bro Show started with the intention of supporting and uplifting women creatives — and that doesn’t have to be exclusive to comedy, even though comedy is our first love.”
Brochella happens on May 19 atTrunk Space in Phoenix. Admission is $5; doors open at 7:30 p.m.