NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 5/31/12

May 31, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Julia Wiedeman

The lovely Julia Wiedeman is both playful…

Julia Wiedeman

…and fearless in her memorable sketch show Naked People…

Dave Hill

…while comedy giants Dave Hill…

Kristen Schaal

…and Kristen Schaal perform at My Damn Channel

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $12 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Jim Santangeli (beloved improvisor & sketch comic who’s currently making a video a day) is tonight’s guest at this weekly open-mic storytelling show, with each performer given a whopping eight minutes to captivate & impress, at UCB East hosted by John Flynn: Oh, Hey Guys!

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up with comics’ names drawn from a bucket and each chosen one receiving three minutes at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Corby Haas

[FREE] 6:00 pm:Veteran musical improvisors at The PIT mix with novices on-stage at Pitch

6:30 pm ($5): Two shows I know nothing about, We’re All Gonna Be Billionaires and Upton Abbey, audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: Hot Diner and THEM

[FREE] 7:00 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members (signing in at 6:00) can join in with improv troupe Junior Varsity to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a witty and ultimately exhilarating exploration of baring it all by fabulous long-time nudist Julia Wiedeman. Julie is a charismatic actress whose star is just starting to rise, and is well worth catching even beyond the enjoyment of her playful beauty. Check out promo videos here and here and here, and then run to see Naked People

…and in the second half of this double-bill, a one-woman show by Sue Smith about anger, directed by the always inventive and delightful Laura Grey: Minimum Rage

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals of HelloGiggles.com share tales about birthdays and more on the show’s one-year anniversary at UCB East, with storytellers including UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern and Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Chris Gethard Show, The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion): HelloGiggles: Our Birthday Show

8:00 pm ($10): Guitarist Warren Malone plays music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from 30 Rock, The Story Pirates, Second City, and more at The PIT upstairs theatre: Beauty Love Truth

8:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill atThe PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Phooka, The Boss, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Christina Gausas directing The Subject (improvised scenes that focus on one character who never leaves the stage, while other characters from the past, present, and future come and go), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent) with troupe Upstate battling troupe The Party Lions for laughs & votes: The Magnet’s Night Out

[FREE] 8:00 pm: “A stand-up comedy showcase and baking competition—come to eat or come to compete” at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Cody Hess & Jessica Gross: Cookies!

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($12): TV & movie star Kristen Schaal (one of the funniest women alive; shining star correspondent on The Daily Show; co-star of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and NBC’s 30 RockComedy Central Presents half-hour special; FOX’s Bob’s Burgers; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; co-author of bestselling book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, star of The King of MiamiThe Dave Hill Explosion, band Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new bestselling book Tasteful Nudes), Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), and Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1) performing at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) hosted by Sean L. McCarthy (writer/publisher of comedy news site The Comic’s Comic): My Damn Channel

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Yesterday Joe Mande wrote on his Facebook page “I am moving to LA in four days to write for the television program Parks and Recreation. I’m very excited, but will deeply miss NYC. Particularly the bodega cats.” We will miss you in turn, Joe. Meanwhile, I have no idea who’ll be on this show at UCB East that’s normally hosted by best bud hosts Noah Garfinkel & Joe Mande (author of Look At This F*cking Hipster): Totally J/K

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00ish pm: Terrific NYC stand-ups (the lineup is typically announced around 3:00 pm; for an update, please click here) performing on this free weekly show at the Kabin Bar and Lounge hosted by Chesley Calloway and comedy genius Sean Patton: Comedy as a Second Language

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($8): Terrific comedy duo Leah Rudick & Katie Hartman, a.k.a. Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, back from their second year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they were proclaimed “biggest revelation” by the Guardian, performing a new sketch show about reality TV atThe PIT upstairs theatre: The Underdeveloped and Overexposed Life and Death of Deena Domino

9:30 pm ($5): Improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Dan Hodapp & Micah Sherman: The Scene

9:30 pm ($5): If you’re a fan of CollegeHumor.com, you can see the folks behind it on the UCB Chelsea stage—along with stand-ups Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Brian “Murph” Murphy, Dan Siegel, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Airwolf last week stepped hard on star troupe The Stepfathers, grinding it to dust via votes of 130-63 and claiming its 10th consecutive victory. Tonight Airwolf will show no quarter to troupe Nobody’s Token as it competes for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The lovely Amber Nelson, the also lovely D’Arcy Carden & Brandon Scott Jones, musical group Lucas and the Lovelys (yes, seriously), Jason Saenz, Ben Warheit, and Evan Greenspoon performing in “a late-night talk show celebrating all things music! It’s crazier than Conan, blacker than Sabbath, and dumber than Hawking, featuring stand-up, character bits, audience participation, comedy videos, music-themed interviews, and a live performance from a local band or artist at UCB East hosted by Kevin DeBacker: Late Night Rockin’

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 5/30/12

May 30, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Elna Baker and Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. Come honor her memory through comedy (Joan loved to laugh) tonight along with brilliant & luminous host Elna Baker (above, in Joan’s favorite party dress)…

Dave Hill and Joan Juliet Buck

…and storyteller/troubadour Dave Hill, former French Vogue editor Joan Juliet Buck…

Ira Glass and Amber Tamblyn

…NPR’s This American Life producer/host Ira Glass, TV & movie star Amber Tamblyn, and more

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation The PIT upstairs theatre for Super Free Wednesday

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up providing four minutes per comic, with “15 people chosen randomly through e-mail, and five walk-ins; and a guaranteed spot to anyone who performs in character as a famous explorer” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Comedic Exploration Club of Long Island City, West

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Maude Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features troupes Spooky Ghost and Hoops: Lloyd Night

7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Silver Fox, Leviathan, The Party Lions, The Wrath, Brick, Chet Watkins, Horses, and Featherweight performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Silver Fox at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show from Darcy Burke about Kenny Rogers and Jean Claude Van Damme at The PIT downstairs Lounge: Rocky Mountain Van Damage

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 at the door, or $6.39 in advance online—the latter is highly recommended because this show usually sells out): Genius storyteller/writer Elna Baker resurrects Joan of Arc, and all our fond memories of her, on the anniversary of Joan’s burning at the stake precisely 581 years ago (May 30th, 1431). Helping Joan’s ghost to party will be Joan Juliet Buck (Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue 1994-2001), TV & movie star Amber Tamblyn, Ira Glass (producer/host of NPR’s This American Life), Dave Hill (one of the most original and hilariously sharp alternative comics in the country; HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, NPR, The Dave Hill Explosion, bands Valley Lodge and Diamondsnake, champion rapper; new book Tasteful Nudes), Eugene Mirman (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Adult Swim’s Delocated, VH1; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Bobby Tisdale (senior staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; pioneer of NYC downtown comedy), Susan Piver (New York Times bestselling author of six books), and musical guests Lucy Wainwright Roche (stellar singer/songwriter) and gal trio Supercute!, all performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with hosts Kevin Townley (Men in Black III, The Sitter, Law & Order: SVU) and, again, comedy jewel Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance): The Talent Show: Joan of Arc Edition

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A spectacular and unforgettable demonstration of the artful power of mime when combined with a wickedly sharp modern sensibility, executed with great wit and style. Street performers have given mime a bad rep; but if you think about it, what mime does is boil a situation down to its essential elements, and then express those elements in a manner that’s instantly and universally understood. That’s really what art is all about; and that’s also what Billy the Mime does, often brilliantly. (For my review of his FringeNYC show in 2006, please click here.): Billy the Mime

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB East, Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar are the fiercely energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Typically terrific NYC comics (not announced) performing at this free weekly comedy show at Brooklyn’s Cameo (behind Lovin’ Cup) typically hosted by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, and/or Max Silvestri: Big Terrific

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Sandino interviews an audience member and provides the answer to an unsolved mystery at UCB East, with team members including Don Fanelli, Brandon Gulya, and Kate Riley: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers —who tonight are Dan St. Germain, Halle Kiefer, Christian Capozzoli, Jon Gabrus, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme Vices: The Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this new weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC stand-ups perform along with side-show attractions such as jugglers, contortionists, and fire eaters at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this unusual carny experience: Abigoliah’s Bizzarre Bazaar

10:00 pm ($5): Improv from two duos: Matt B. Weir & Matt J. Weir (We’re Matt Weir), and hosts Aaron Eisenberg (Barnstormer) and Marie Semla (Funkle Todd), performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Two by Two

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (Doppelganger) hosts as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. (Tonight’s scheduled lineup includes UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Julia Weideman & Boris Khaykin, Pat Baer & Friends, Veronica Osorio, and Adam Conover; for the complete list, please click here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

11:00 pm ($5): Sketch, improv, and audience participation in this new show directed by Steve Soroka (BoF) at The PIT downstairs lounge: Night Out with The Pin-Up Squirrels

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 5/29/12

May 29, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

John Gemberling

Comedy genius John Gemberling co-stars for the last time at his dark sketch/improv show before moving to LA to make Hollywood his personal bitch: The Tony & Johnny Show…

Jon Glaser

…and wonderful comics Jon Glaser (above), Heather Lawless, Jon Daly, and Larry Murphy perform at Brooklyn’s Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Chesley Calloway (co-host of renowned Comedy as a Second Language): The Ches Club

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm (Please note new time and new venue!): Comics creator Joe Hill (Locke & Key) joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge Street), with giveaways of comics and gift certificates: Comic Book Club

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast clobbered some of the best improv troupes in NYC earlier this year at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight come see this troupe perform on its own for a full hour at The Magnet: North Coast

7:00 pm-9:00 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Creature, GoodGirl, and The Pox at this first half (see 9:00 pm for more) of Harold Night

8:00 pm ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Andrew Norelli (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central), Costaki Economopoulos (Showtime, Bob & Tom), Adam Cozens, and more performing at Lolita Bar hosted by Liam McEneaney: Tell Your Friends

8:00 pm ($5): H. Alan Scott (Oprah, The Huffington Post, superb cookie baker) hosts this gay-themed comedy show with guests James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Eliot Glazer (VH1’s Best Week Ever, It Gets Betterish, My Parents Were Awesome), Grumpy Films (Fuse.tv), and Molly Pope performing scenes at The PIT downstairs lounge: The #SRSLYLOL Life of @HAlanScott

8:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups Joe Pera (very funny deadpan comic; for reasons to hire Joe, please click here), Justy Dodge (co-host of Too Much Information on comicalradio.com; “I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Like, I had Barbies, but only because my Ninja Turtles needed bitches;” for dark bio video, please click here), Ashley Brooke Roberts, John Milhiser, Thomas Dale, and Jason Saenz performing at UCB East hosted by Amber Nelson and Rob Stern: Late Night Stand

[FREE] 8:00 pm: This weekly show features “a swarthy selection of fine stand-up comics and mildly entertaining recurring segments” at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, hosted by Jim Tews & Brendan Eyre: Chest Hair

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Phoebe Robinson, Carole Montegomery, Joyelle Nicole, Dan Frigolette, Drew Dowdey, Chris Scopo, and Josh Wesson performing at the One and One Bar (1st Street & First Avenue) for this free weekly stand-up show hosted by Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, TruTV, Tyra Banks) & Sergio Chicon: Comedy Punch

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($5 at the door, $7.63 in advance online): Heather Lawless (fresh, hilarious, unique stand-up; Comedy Central, Wonder Showzen, member of Variety SHAC), Jon Glaser (star of Adult Swim’s Delocated; long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien), Jon Daly (hilarious improvisor & character comic; HBO’s Life & Times of Tim, MTV’s Human Giant, Mother), and Larry Murphy (brilliant voiceover actor for FOX’s Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, Adult Swim’s Assy McGee and Home Movies, and numerous other shows) performing for this monthly show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Gabe Delahaye (Senior Editor of Videogum.com): Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show

8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Mint Condition and Aquarius

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Mike Lawrence (nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand- Up), Colin Jost (writer for Saturday Night Live; Jimmy Fallon, host of Fooling Around with Colin Jost), and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

9:00 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes The Regulars, Bucky, and Sandino at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): The final performance of this weekly wild experiment in dark comedy, blending sketch and improv, that co-stars brilliant, fearless, and innovative John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim, Comedy Central), who is moving to LA. (Yes, we’re losing another NYC comedy treasure…). The show’s other co-star, Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) will reveal how the show will go on at UCB East with tonight’s guests Shannon O’Neil (breathtakingly innovative, lighting-quick, and fearless improvisor/sketch comic and rising star; The Stepfathers, Diamond Lion), sketch duo Jon Gabrus & Justin Tyler, and Chris Braiotta (Silent Cal Radio podcast): The Tony and Johnny Show

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at The PIT downstairs lounge with host Chris Grace: Cold Soda Comedy

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Greer Barnes (David Letterman, Chappelle’s Show, Comedy Central special), Andrew Norelli (Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club hosted by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): ComedyJuice

[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with musical improv troupe Aquarius to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer

[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up at UCB East hosted by Boris Khaykin, John Trowbridge, and/or Katie East: Tuesday Night Open Mic

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 5/28/12

May 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

David Cross

TV & movie stars David Cross and…

Rachel Dratch

…Rachel Dratch are among the spectacular talents at Gravid Water

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

 [FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic stand-up show running about 90 minutes at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Chris Gaynor: Open Mic Mondays

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open-mic storytelling, with each of the four audience members chosen from the bucket of names getting to tell tales for 7 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

7:00 pm ($8): Young improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Shady Bunch

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Four improvisers form teams with comics they’ve never performed with before at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Kaleidoscope

7:30 pm ($10; sign-up starts at 7:00 pm): Open mic for stand-ups, storytellers, singers, poets, actors, and more, with 5 minutes per performer and 25 slots available, at One and One Bar’s Downstairs Nexus Lounge (76 1st Street, corner of First Avenue) hosted by Nathan P., followed by a raucous afterparty with dancing & drink specials from 10:00 to midnight: Inspired Word’s Open Mic Joint

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Broadway & off-Broadway stars mixing it up with such genius improvisors as TV & movie star David Cross, John Lutz & Scott Adsit (30 Rock, John & Scott), Rachel Dratch (SNL), and more as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at UCB Chelsea for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent of The Daily Show), Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times), Annie Lederman (Comedy Central), and Michael Kupperman (Adult Swim, TV Funhouse) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) guest-hosted tonight by Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice): Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Sasheer Zamata (highly charming, innovative rising star; host of School Night, member of red-hot improv troupe Doppelganger and sketch troupe The Prom), comedic musical group Summer & Eve, John Milhiser (award-winning sketch troupe Serious Lunch), and more performing at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell and featuring the Shrink Dancers: The Big Shrink

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Erin Lennox, Mike Recine, Robert Dean, Adam Cozens, Taylor Ketchum, Rojo Perez, and Lukas Kaiser performing at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless back room (557 Manhattan Avenue, near the G subway’s Nassau Avenue stop) hosted by Nimesh Patel, Mike Denny, and/or Michael Che: Broken Comedy

8:00 pm ($8): Improv performed by talented duos at The PIT upstairs theatre: Ampers&nd

9:30 pm ($8): Performers of The PIT’s Thursday musical improv shows form entirely new one-night-only groups at the downstairs lounge to make up yet more musicals: Musical Improv Mix-Em-Up

8:30 pm ($5): At The Magnet, a mini-play from Chris Nester & Ross Taylor about aspiring Country Western musicians: The Oakwood Boys

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, it’s probably your last chance to see this sketch play about the opening of a trendy restaurant that serves nothing but pig (including “bacon-infused martinis”), written with wit and bite by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Stone Cold Fox), directed with style by Caitlin Bitzegaio (MTV, PBS, ESPN), and performed superbly by comedic actress Lauren Conlin Adams (keep an eye out for her Aurora, a hot and hilariously bubble-headed waitress): Pig: A Restaurant

…and in the other half of this double-bill, an improv troupe that recently clobbered top rivals at Cage Match—thanks to such talents as Don Fanelli, Kate Riley, and Tim Martin—attempts to abandon rules for the sake of achieving new levels of hilarity in Fuck That Shit

9:30 ($5): Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City), Joe Machi (Jimmy Fallon), Jeff Wesselschmidt, and more debate various topics, mixed with sketch and who knows what else, at UCB East hosted by Michael Shawki, Jeff Wesselschimdt, and Dan Licata: The Great Debate

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Following a club format, hosts Nore Davis & Andrew Short perform stand-up throughout for a total of 25 minutes, two comics each perform a 15-minute set, and then a seasoned headliner closes out the show with a 20-minute set, all at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: On the Road

10:00 pm ($5): Improv is dominated by guys, so this is a rare treat—a dozen female improvisors “for an evening of comedy that will delight men, women, babies, and kittens” at The Magnet hosted by Megan Gray: We Might Just Kiss

[FREE] 10:30 pm: Improv students are welcomed onto the stage at The PIT downstairs lounge for this weekly open access show hosted by Gary DeNoia & Keith Huang: Base Jam

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who haven’t yet been announced, but you can check for an update here—performing at UCB Chelsea and probably hosted by comedy genius Chris Gethard: Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this exceptionally supportive stand-up open-mic at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Jared Reed: Fresh

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 5/27/12

May 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Supercute!

Wonderful comedic musicians Supercute! (above) and Pendulum Swings perform at the Vintage Vantage Variety Show…

Amber Nelson

…and lovely stand-ups Amber Nelson (above) and Liz Miele celebrate RG Daniel’s birthday at Sunday Night Stand-Up

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Showcase

[FREE] 6:00 pm: “Are ready for something sweet and something spicy? Long form improv that will satisfy your hunger” hosted by sharp UCBT comic Andy Rocco at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Candy Taco Improv Hour

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCBwest’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes stars in the improv world, and sometimes even TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): Improv troupes not affiliated with any comedy school compete at UCB East for audience laughs and votes—and the privilege to go on to perform at the primary Cage Match show at UCB Chelsea—in this show hosted by the delightful Amey Goerlich & Ryan Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

[FREE] 7:30 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’s Last Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining one last night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Bill Bellamy

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): A (mostly) musical comedy evening with gal band Supercute!, superb jazz band Pendulum Swings, stand-up Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), and more performing at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place, off First Avenue) hosted by Kyle Supley and tonight’s guest host Angela Di Carlo: Vintage Vantage Variety Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Celebrating host RG Daniel’s Memorial Day birthday are James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Amber Nelson (sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Late Night Stand and Mustache Party), Barry Rothbart (Jay Leno, Comedy Central, IFC), David Foster (HBO’s Bad Boys of Comedy), and Tony Zaret (NBC’s Silver Spoons) performing at RG’s free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Greg Johnson (Sirius Radio host) records a stand-up album that no label has requested and that “the world may never hear” at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for one night only: Greg Johnson: “Special”

8:00 pm ($5): Short-form improv at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Sunday ShortForm Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents, FOX, VH1, E!), Sarah Tollemache, and Gilbert Lawand performing in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at the Beauty Bar

9:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with guest improvisors: Improv Nerds

9:30 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) perform sets that are then used as springboards for improv troupes to make up scenes at The PIT upstairs theatre: Daws of Jeath

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

10:00 pm ($5): Improv veterans Brandon Gardner, Chelsea Clarke, and Phillip Jackson hosting & performing in a show at UCB East with improvisors taken from the audience…and who may include you: Improv Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/26/12

May 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

James Adomian

James Adomian performs at stand-up & burlesque show Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar…

Baron Vaughn

…and Baron Vaughn headlines at If You Build It

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early weekly open-mic stand-up show (“starts late enough to sleep off that hangover but ends just in time to begin a new one”) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jhoel Walkowski & Evan Davis: The Amateur Hour

6:00 pm ($5): Improv troupes (unusually, not announced this week) at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

7:00 pm ($5): Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger) and Poupak Sepehri (runs UCB’s Difference Blog) host a variety show at UCB East that’s a mix of stand-up, sketch, improv, dance, music, and video: The Soul Glo Project

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, D’Arcy Carden, Chelsea Clarke, and/or other stellar improvisors at UCB Chelsea interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then “turn that town’s tourist attractions, landmarks, hangouts, local celebrities, urban legends, and more into a hilarious show made up on the spot:” The Curfew: Not From Around Here

7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft at The Magnet making up a play on the spot: Theory of Everything

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Rojo Perez, Taylor Ketchum, and Nate Fridson participate in this “comedy chat show with boundary issues” that has stand-ups perform sets and then be interviewed about their personal lives at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like ‘oh yeah, that guy is a mess'”): We’re All Friends Here

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm & 11:45 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Vic Henley is one of the most likeable stand-ups in the biz. He’s co-headlining tonight with Kevin Flynn (HBO, NBC, ABC) at the Gotham Comedy Club: Vic Henley & Kevin Flynn

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’s Last Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

8:00 pm ($10): Two of the most respected PIT improv troupes performing on this weekly double-bill—and occasionally with comedy giants Kristen Schaal and/or Kurt Braunohler participating: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Baron Vaughn (Jimmy Fallon; co-star of USA’s Fairly Legal and Comedy Central’s The Awkward Comedy Show, MTV, VH1), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes, host of Connotation), Ben Kronberg (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), and Nate Craig performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk (please note, UCBT Web site is incorrect tonight; Jessi Klein had to bow out, and Baron’s taking her place…): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—UCB Chelsea’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe at The Magnet makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage

9:30 pm ($8): Improv troupe Ca$h Only and guests make up a play on the spot at The PIT upstairs theatre: 3 Act Play

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($11.34 online; or $10 at the door—but this show typically sells out in advance): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Joe List (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Molly Knefel (Naked in a Fishbowl, John & Molly Get Along), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), and more performing for this show in which stand-up and burlesque are weirdly blended together based on the reasoning “The nude female form is truly a work of art. That’s why people the world over like to jerk off to it. Who are we to disagree with the world?”at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents): Pat Dixon’s (Nearly) Naked Lady Hour: Now with Bacon Bar

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Improv troupe Grandma’s Ashes—which includes stellar talents Ryan Karels, Morgan Grace Jarrett, Brandon Scott Jones, and more—promises to “take your stories of the tragic and depraved and scatter them into laughter” at this newest UCB Chelsea show to be honored with a weekend time slot: Grandma’s Ashes Gets Dark

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): UCBT improv troupe Airwolf—which includes such talents as John Frusciante, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Emily Axford, and has so far crushed 10 improv groups in a row at Cage Match, entirely owns the UCB East stage tonight at Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place

10:30 pm ($7): Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney perform at The Magnet as comedy duo Trike

Midnight ($5): Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment Tuesdays at Cake Shop), Billy Prinsell, Katie Hannigan, and Bryson Turner performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: This free show at The PIT upstairs theatre does a great job of describing itself: “Bad movies. We can’t stop watching them. Is it because the plot is so enjoyably paper-thin? Or maybe the acting is so deliciously cheesy? Whatever the reason may be, Oscar Montoya (Local 154, Aquarius) is inviting you to his house to watch all of his favorite so-bad-they’re-awesome movies.” Joining him is SF fan Steve Siddell (Someday the Cake, The Scene). Tonight’s feature is a slasher flick with a shocking twist: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Sleepaway Camp

Midnight ($5): Two relatively obscure sketch troupes, Dinner For One and The Release, competing for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea hosted by sketch troupe Sidecar: Backyard Brawl

Midnight ($10): Typically disturbing and semi-obscene sketches at The PIT downstairs lounge from troupe FUCT

[FREE] Midnight: A weekly chance for you to shine at The Magnet, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/25/12

May 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Hiller

Jeff Hiller will weave his special magic as he makes up a musical tonight on Diamond Lion…

Vic Henley

…and the super-likeable Vic Henley headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The PIT upstairs theatre to perform at improv trio Mr. Gorsky

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies:” Double Date

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, pastry buns, and jello shots at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonathan Powley: Buns and Puns

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’s Last Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): A musical comedy at The Magnet “inspired by the real life plans of the US military to build a bomb that would make their enemies gay. The show is a cautionary tale set in a not-to-distant America that is a xenophobic, homophobic wet dream. This timely political piece is not only topical but extremely on point, leaving no stereotype unscathed.” Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Vic Henley is one of the most likeable stand-ups in the biz. He’s co-headlining tonight and Saturday with Kevin Flynn—who I’ve never seen, but is probably terrific too—at the Gotham Comedy Club: Vic Henley & Kevin Flynn

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Greg Warren, Nore Davis, sketch troupe Carousel of Characters, and sketch troupe Chess Club performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Danny Jolles: Danny’s Funhouse

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A screening of a 2010 feature film by the Upright Citizens Brigade written, co-directed, and co-starring Matt Besser, and also briefly featuring Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts (Ian almost steals the movie by simply delivering a doctor’s diagnosis…) at UCB East—which is a perfect venue for films because it used to be an indie movie theatre: Freak Dance

P.S. If you can’t make this screening, you can alternatively pay to see the movie for a brief time online via various streaming film sites and/or buy its soundtrack to enjoy anytime via iTunes.

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


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