NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 6/30/12

June 30, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

The Stepfathers

Last night The Stepfathers—Chris Gethard, Shannon O’Neill, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Will Hines, Michael Delaney,and Connor Ratliff—delivered a genius 30 minutes of improv that garnered two standing ovations. Come see what happens tonight at…

14th Annual Del Close Marathon

…The Del Close Marathon

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Right Now-9:30 pm Sunday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 14th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon is running continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 29th until 9:30ish pm on Sunday July 2nd. Improv troupes from all around the US and Canada—New York, Albany, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cambridge, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Fairfield, Austin, Miami, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Raleigh, Carrboro, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Helsinki, and more—will perform over 150 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets will be $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

For complete details, please click here.

DCM is happening at seven different venues this year. I’ll mostly be at UCB Chelsea, but please know there are incredible things happening at every one of these stages. That noted, the following are some of the highlights I personally experienced from yesterday:

  • At the DCM press conference, Ian Roberts started announcing a major UCB project…only to have Matt Besser and Matt Walsh interrupt with, “Um, that’s still a secret.” Ian spent a few minutes in denial with “Gee, are you sure we haven’t said anything publicly about it?” When assured that was the case, Ian rebounded with, “Well, when we do you’ll all be very impressed.” I actually have a reasonable guess what it is…and yes, we all really will be.
  • Also at the press conference, Matt Besser swore that an improv manual they’ve been working on for nearly 10 years “will, we guarantee, be done before next year’s marathon.” Ian Roberts then added, “Absolutely! And the white buffalo will once again walk the plains…” (As an expert with 20 books under my belt—including five Dummies books—I’ve been offering to help with this for six years running. Ian, Matt, and Matt, at this point I’ll do it for a sentence in the Acknowledgements. Reach out to me…) Among the benefits of the UCB book will be clarifying terms and concepts that often confuse improvisors. For example, as Ian Roberts explained, “Beginners think Agreement means going along with whatever someone brings up. But if your partner suggests ‘Let’s jump out the window,’ and you say ‘Sure!’, then that’s the end of the scene…because at that point you’re both dead. What Agreement really means is saying yes to the reality of whatever scenario your partner suggests—but then responding in a genuine way that reflects how you—or your character—would really behave in that situation.” The book is another project from UCB very much worth looking look forward to.
  • Also at the press conference, the guys discussed how much work is involved in becoming good at improv. Ian Roberts said a lot of people who are funny think, “Improv is walking and talking. I do that every day. I’m ready to go on stage as an improvisor!” Ian continued, “That’s like my looking at a piano and saying, ‘I like music. I have fingers. I’m ready to give a piano concert!’” Ian also defended rules, explaining, “The fact that I can stand here is defying gravity. It’s a learned skill I’ve done so often it’s become instinctual. We all learn from habit and repetition.” Matt Besser added that taking a class is great, but not by itself: “You should have your own practice team. And every session you should rehearse with each other for three hours—not one hour, not two hours, three hours is the standard…and at least three times a week.”
  • Stellar NYC trio Doppelganger (Sasheer Zamata, Nicole Byer, and Keisha Zollar) was in top form, with running gags including a man (played by Nicole) who keeps proposing marriage at the most inappropriate moments—such as when his girlfriend is caring from her grandma just moments away from death: “We’ll inherit the old bag’s house, car, and savings. Honey, be mine!” Another shining moment was when Sasheer brings an orphan (played by Keisha) into her house, outlining a space four feet by four feet and saying, “That’s how much room you have. Don’t leave that square, you’re dirty.” Keisha looks around rapturously and says, “At least it’s a home.” It was an apt metaphor for any young performer starting out; but chances are each of these fearless and razor-sharp gals will go on to lustrous careers.
  • When comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill of The Stepfathers appeared at 9:00 pm, the crowd cheered wildly. Shannon growled, “We’re on this stage every Friday! And at this exact same time!” Then Shannon relented with, “But thank you for your drunken enthusiasm.” What followed was one of the most brilliant 30 minutes of improv I’ve even seen—from Chris, Shannon, Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Will Hines, Michael Delaney, and Connor Ratliff working as a perfectly oiled machine, with each understanding each other’s strengths and playing them perfectly. That would’ve been enough; but then Chris said, “And now…let’s rewind.” The troupe responded with pure magic by reenacting every scene it had made up on the spot—backwards! As these stars got to the point of backing out the curtains from where they’d entered, the audience jumped to its feet to provide a rousing standing ovation. The set wasn’t quite over, though, so Shannon returned to growl, “Sit back down! We’re not done yet! Geez, we’re here every Friday!” The troupe proceeded to deconstruct what they’d done, with such comments as, “I thought that tag was a little premature” and “This scene came out of something that happened backstage no one else has any idea about.” When the lights finally came down, the audience jumped up to provide an even louder and more enthusiastic standing ovation.
  • There’s more I could write—about such troupes as Sentimental Lady from LA and Telenovelafrom Washington DC; a fun Bassprov with the form’s creators, improv legends Joe Bill and Mark Sutton, plus guest improv legend Matt Walsh; improv star Fran Gillespie doing an impressive job as a mirror in Paranormal Encounters; and another of the finest improvisors alive, Paul Scheer, in Bruckheimer; but I want to eat something and then get back to the marathon. Please check in here tomorrow for a report on tonight; and please get your ass over to DCM for this not-to-be-missed comedy event.

Also, while I love DCM, please note that if you’re a stand-up fan Ted Alexandro is one of the very, very best, and it’s just bad luck he’s opposite the most incredible improv event of the year. If you might care to take two hours away from DCM and see Ted at the Gotham Comedy Club (just a few blocks away from UCB Chelsea), he’ll deliver gold as well. For more, please click here.

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 Accelerate Duo Prov, Pumpkin, and Orange Augustus at The Magnetkicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Adam Conover, Jermaine Fowler, and Jessica Watkins 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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7): Improv master Ed Herbstman and five others “perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind-blowing parts; the only rule is that there are no rules” at The Magnettheatre: The Weave

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) One of the very finest stand-ups in the country, who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel; starred in twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; and frequently opens for Louis C.K., headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Color headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Tommy Davidson

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—at the upstairs theatre: Big Black Car and The Baldwins

[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), TV & movie star Todd Barry (might be 9:00 pm only), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing 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 ($15): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now enjoying a long run at The PIT upstairs theatre: Political Subversities

[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

10:00 pm ($5): Improvisors make up a Quentin Tarantino movie at The PIT downstairs lounge for this new themed show: The Tarantino

[FREE] 10:00 pm: NYC comics performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City for this talk & stand-up show hosted by Sarah Tollemache: Last Night

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

[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 musical improv troupe Hot Diner to comment on one of the worst musical sequels of all time: Midnight Movie at Montoya’s Presents: Grease 2

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups (not announced) participate in the fake taping of a bad late-night TV comedy show at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with host Brad SteuernagelComedians Off Of the Leash

[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 Friday 6/29/12

June 29, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Matt Walsh and Matt Besser

Upright Citizens Brigade founders Matt Walsh, Matt Besser…

Ian Roberts and Amy Poehler

…Ian Roberts, and Amy Poehler are all scheduled to appear at this year’s 14th Annual Improv bash…

Del Close Improv Marathon 2012

…The Del Close Marathon

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:

[SUPER-MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:30 pm Friday-9:30 pm Sunday ($30): One of the most magical events in NYC, the 14th Annual Del Close Improv Marathon will run continuously from 4:30 pm on Friday June 29th until 9:30ish pm on Sunday July 2nd. Improv troupes from all around the US and Canada—New York, Albany, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cambridge, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Fairfield, Austin, Miami, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Raleigh, Carrboro, Toronto, Vancouver, Helsinki, and more—will perform over 390 shows, typically in 30 minute blocks, for 55+ hours. Tickets will be $30 for the entire weekend—an incredible bargain. Paul Scheer said several  years ago the appropriate charge would be around $600, and he mostly wasn’t kidding.

As in past years, the only down side is way more patrons than available space, which will cause long waits to get into the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre at 307 West 26th Street, which seats about 150. However, the congestion will be somewhat eased by five additional venues just a few blocks from UCB Chelsea: The Hudson Guild Theatre at 441 West 26th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), which seats 99; Urban Stages at 259 West 30th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), which seats 74; the School of Visual Arts Auditoriums A and B at 333 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues); and the Fashion Institute of Technology Kate Murphy Amphitheatre at corner West 27th Street & 7th Avenue, which seats 280. In addition, there’ll be shows at the new UCB East theatre at 153 3rd Street (between Avenues A and B), which seats 99. To view shows organized by venue, please click here. To view shows organized by time, please click here. For an easy-to-read schedule, please click here.

The DCM shows at the SVA and FIT auditoriums are an additional $15.90 to see—unless they don’t sell out, in which case if you have a marathon pass you can receive a remaining seat free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.

I plan to be at DCM continually for as long as I can stay awake and will post highlights here, so please check in daily for memorable DCM moments.

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups happen at 5:45-6:00 pm) at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Erin Lennox and Eli Sairs: The Orphanage

[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 as improv trio Mr. Gorsky

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Color headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Tommy Davidson

[$] [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: 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 downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.) One of the very finest stand-ups in the country, who’s performed on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel; starred in twoComedy Central Presents half-hour specials; and frequently opens for Louis C.K., headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Ted Alexandro

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($10): Smart, fun sketch comedy & talk show that’s happening at Brooklyn’sLittlefield (622 Degraw Street) but is actually a TV series in development from host/creator Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central, IFC’s BunkHot Tub Variety), with tonight’s guests including Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody) and Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls), plus phenom house band Adira Amram and the Experience: Night of the Living with Kurt Braunohler

[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.”Actually, there are way too many stereotypical depictions of straight men as stupid and evil, which seriously weakens the story; plus I would’ve liked to have seen more genuinely great singers in this musical. Overall, though, the problems are outweighed by the charms—including a showstopper about midway through that encourages everyone to be themselves…and becomes the shining heart of the production. Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[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), TV & movie star Todd Barry (might be 9:00 pm only), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

9:30 pm ($5): D&D-style epic fantasy improv, plus nerdy stand-up, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Eric Grundhauserled as your Dungeon Master

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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Sketch from Livia Scott (magical comedic chameleon; Conan O’Brien,Livia’s Castle of Enchantment), dance from Cocoon Central Dance Team, songs from Myq & Micah, burlesque from Sapphire Jones at at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by terrific sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (Leah Rudick and Katie Hartman) : Daddy’s Basement: A Comedy Variety Freakshow

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): Honestly, if you like improv, you should be at DCM; but that said, this show is likely to be good too, with various improv veterans from iO Chicago performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: iO Chicago Takes Over

[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, top Maude sketch troupe Gramp’s, 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 upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 6/28/12

June 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Kurt Braunohler and Elna Baker

It’s a night for top storytellers, with Kurt Braunohler and Elna Baker at the wonderful Leslie Goshko’s “Sideshow Goshko”…

Tom Shillue and Simon Amstell

…and stars Tom Shillue and Simon Amstell at the wonderful Kevin Allison’s “Risk!”

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:

6:00 pm ($5): Three shows I know nothing about—Former Business Partners: Everything Must Go!,The Unbreakable Gun, and Tybrus: Infinity Bros, audition for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage: Spank

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

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:30 pm: A free screening at UCB East (which used to a movie theatre) of a 2002 documentary about improv legend Del Close featuring memories from such stars as Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh: The Delmonic Interviews

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12): Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’sThis American Life; co-host of red-hot The Talent Show), Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Bunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets;co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), and Katina Corrao (HBO, Logo) are among the performers joining host Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; WNYC, Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) for this unique storytelling show at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) that features such charms as accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko

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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Scott Adsit (cast member of 30 Rock, and co-writer/director/producer & cast member of Adult Swim’s awesome & Emmy-winning Moral Orel) teaming up with fellow 30 Rock actor John Lutz (who previously spent six years as a staff writer forSaturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s tonight at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) and should not be missed: John & Scott

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Band Amazing Jellies plays music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from The Story Pirates, Centralia, UCB, etc.—plus Greg Kotis, co-writer of Broadway hit Urinetown!—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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Great NYC improv troupes of the past—Badman, Ragnarock, Bastian, fwand, and Monkeydick—perform for one night only at UCB East for this special event: Harold Night Time Machine

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house improv troupes Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Charlie Whitcroft directing Jazz Freddie (improvised scenes that focus on show the past, present, and future of one character and then spirals into an exploration of the character’s world), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challengecomponent): The Magnet’s Night Out

[$] [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 ($10 online or at the door): Ted Alexandro (one of the very finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; frequently opens for Louis C.K.), Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), and Baratunde Thurston (author of How to be Black; The Onion) performing at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street) with host Scott Rogowsky (writer for The Onion, co-host of 12 Angry Mascots) for “a unique talk show experience that needs to be experienced to be experienced. There will be plenty of bits, skits, chits and chats, and maybe that pretty girl you saw on the 6 train last night will be in the audience! It’s a big city, but you run into people:” Running Late with Scott Rogowsky

[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 ($10): Brilliant UK star Simon Amstell (Numb, Never Mind the Buzzcocks), star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller), Mara Wilson (Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, Matilda), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing, MTV’s Ridiculousness, VH1), Lisa Kirchner (author ofHello, Female Lady Creature!, host of The Next Chapter), and host Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme In a Strange Land at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

9:30 pm ($5): Mark Sutton and Ari Voukydis play two fisherman as they improvise using a form made legendary by Chicago’s Joe Bill (who’ll be participating in this weekend’s Del Close Marathon, but apparently not in this particular show…) at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): Bassprov

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), Adam Conover, Mark Little, Nimesh Patel, and more—at CollegeHumor Live

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Krompf, one of the best improv troupes in NYC (consisting of Neil Casey, Amey Goerlich, Ryan Karels, and Joe Wengert), showing off its various improv games—The Kroumf, The Gator, Pizza Prov, and more—right before tomorrow’s Del Close Marathon: Third Annual Pre-DCM Krompf Extravaganza

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): A brand new game show with Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), and Anna Klumski (Veep), and audience members selected as contestants at UCB East created & hosted by Matt Walsh (improv living legend, HBO’s Veep): Celebrity

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): The King is dead. After 13 consecutive wins, Improv troupe Airwolf last week was finally bested by Grandma’s Ashes (which ironically runs directly opposite Airwolf on Saturday nights at 10:30 at UCB Chelsea vs. UCB East). Grandma’s Ashes’ first challenger for its new crown is GoodGirl; and you can expect girls to be hit as the groups mercilessly compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm: Improv set in a 3rd Grade class from troupe IRTE at The PIT downstairs lounge: IRTE: Mrs. Carrol’s 3rd Grade Houghton Mifflin Spelling Class

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/27/12

June 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Jessica Delfino and Elna Baker

NYC comedy stars Jessica Delfino, Elna Baker, and many more celebrate the dark and bright sides of Summer Camp at The Talent Show…

Dave Hill

…Dave Hill is interviewed by Janeane Garofalo at Bryant Park about about his bestselling new book Tasteful Nudes…

Mamrie Hart

…and the gorgeous Mamrie Hart is on a double-bill with a stellar dark comedy at “BoF: Friends Without Benefits” and “Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical”

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $13 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 12:30 pm: 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), is interviewed about his new bestselling bookTasteful Nudes by TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo at at the Bryant Park Reading Room, West 42nd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues in the park): Dave Hill interviewed by Janeane Garofalo

[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): Layer by layer, improvisers build a town based on an audience member’s suggestion for the town’s name, while artist Asher Rogers paints a large map of the town based on the improvisers’ descriptions. This cool-sounding new show is at The PIT downstairs lounge: Our Town

7:00 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold 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 The Party Lions, Horses, Leviathan, Featherweight, Brick, Chet Watkins, Silver Fox, and The Wrath performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with The Wrath at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

[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/actress Elna Baker welcomes you to “roasting marshmallows, singing songs, best friends for a week, first kisses, packages from home, pranks, panty raids, and that one counselor who was a little too touchy-feely. Tonight’s theme is Summer Camp, and we will entertain and amaze you, and probably make you squirm a little.” The diverse and deliciously quirky guests include Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock; created the hilarious and wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; to get a feel for Jessica’s range and talent, please click here), John Epperson (best known as Lypsinka, a drag queen singer), Edgar Oliver (legendary indie playwright/theatre actor), Mike Albo (The New York Times), Molly Hager (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Michael R. Jackson (singer/songwriter), and Clay McLeod Chapman (playwright/author), all performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with hosts Kevin Townley (Men in Black III, The Sitter, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Law & Order) and, again, comedy jewel Elna Baker (NPR’s This American Life, author of The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance): The Talent Show: Summer Camp Edition

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, a delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Kevin Michael Murphy, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., Kevin Michael Murphy’s ieg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Mamrie Hart is a rising star who somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time—and is always worth catching. Mamrie and her superb comedy partner Stephen Soroka tonight perform puns, wild facial expressions, dance, rock trivia, audience pranks, murder reenactments, and more as sketch duo BoF: Friends Without Benefits

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) as The Two-Man Movie

[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

8:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from two twenty-something gals having trouble finding love and describing why in a multimedia show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Kelly and Lindsey Do New York

[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): Acclaimed Chicago-based Katy Colloton visits The PIT downstairs lounge to perform a multi-character one-woman show for one night only: What Would Carol Do?

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of the finest comedic storytelling shows in the country, in which brilliant writer/performers —who tonight are Adam Wade, Ophira Eisenberg, Anthony Atamanuik, Jake Hart, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s delightful theme PatheticThe Nights of Our Lives

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes—and probably some fun surprises at this special Del Close Marathon edition of The Improv Jam

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Superb improv troupe 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 performers include Katey Healy-Wurzburg and Veronica Osorio; for the complete lineup, 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 comedy and audience participation at The PIT downstairs lounge from a young troupe setting your expectations low: The Disappointments

[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 6/26/12

June 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Kimmy Gatewood

A beloved singer/sketch comic gets on stage to improvise before getting married at “Kimmy Gatewood’s Race to the Altar”…

Simon Amstell

…and brilliant UK comedy star Simon Amstell headlines at Sweet

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $13 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:30 pm: Open mic for comedy of all types (with sign-up starting at 6:00) at Queens LIC’sThe 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: Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game showBunk; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner) and Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn) 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-9:00 pm ($5): Three of NYC’s finest improv troupes—Death by Roo Roo, The Curfew, and The Law Firm—performing at UCB Chelsea at this first half (see 9:00 pm for more) ofHarold Night

7:00 pm ($5): Improv from Matt B. Weir & Matt J. Weir, two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir; and visiting improvisors from the South make stuff up as The New Movement

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals of HelloGiggles.com share tales about summer at UCB East, with storytellers including Joselyn Hughes (staff writer for Tosh 2.0), Abbi Jacobson (co-star of Broad City), Bethany Hall (producer of The Chris Gethard Show), and “hopefully some special surprises:” HelloGiggles: The Summer Lovin’ Show

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Kimmy Gatewood (The Apple Sisters) and Matt Johnson (The Royal We) are about to get married, and they need to do one last improv show as single people! Cast includes Maid of Honor Rebekka Johnson (The Apple Sisters), Groomsman BJ Gallagher (Big Black Car), and other amazing wedding guests. It’s a once in a lifetime event you can’t miss; party in the bar to follow!” at The PIT upstairs theatre: Kimmy Gatewood’s Five Day Race to the Altar

8:00 pm ($5): Cathleen Carr (Two Girls for Five Bucks, Birds, The Scene) and Bob Kulhan (Second City, The Scene) host a show featuring established two-person improv teams challenged with separation anxiety—the audience is asked to scramble them and create one-night-only pairings—at The PIT downstairs Lounge: Carr Kulhan: Dos Experimento

[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 (not yet announced, but to check for an update please click here) 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

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 Rosencranz

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Simon Amstell (razor-sharp and irresistible UK comedy star; host of BBC radio show Never Mind the Buzzcocks), Ronald Reagan (duo from Boston who do covers of 80′s songs on saxophones while wearing denim and puffy socks), John F. O’Donnell, and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock, VH1): Sweet

[TOP PICK] 9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Three more of NYC’s finest improv troupes—The Stepfathers , Grandma’s Ashes, and Airwolf—performing at UCB Chelsea, plus four separate three-person groups of advanced students each perform one long scene in a form called The Three-Hander—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): “Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is on the ground in New York City, and he’s assembled a team of investigative experts to uncover the biggest conspiracy yet. The New World Order might keep Conspiracy Theory off the air, but we take the action outside the ring and straight to the people…because they can cancel a TV show, but they can’t cancel the truth,” with James Adomian as Jesse Ventura, Anthony Atamanuik as David Icke, and more doing crazy shit at UCB EastConspiracy Theory Live with Jesse Ventura

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

[FREE] 9:30 pm: Stand-up and sketch at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre, typically hosted by sketch troupes Savage Animal and/or Jerk Practice: Savage Animal

[$] 10:00 pm ($15 & 2-drink min.): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingDavid Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CD Vegan Mind Meld), Bert Kreischer (David Letterman, Good Morning America, Comedy Central 1-hour special Comfortably Dumb, Bert The Conqueror on Travel TV), Eliot Chang (Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately, Spike TV), Matt Fulchiron (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing), and more performing stand-up at the GothamComedy 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 Mint Condition 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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Monday 6/25/12

June 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

David Cross

David Cross is among the stars at Gravid Water…

Baby Wants Candy

…and a musical will be created on the spot five times this week by Baby Wants Candy

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:

[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

7:30 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 (Arrested Development, Mr. Show), John Lutz & Scott Adsit (30 Rock, John & Scott), Rachel Dratch (SNL), and more as they crash improv into classic theatre scenes at The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) for actor/director Stephen Ruddy’s Gravid Water

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, one of the very best sketch shows of 2012. It’s a noir mini-play written & directed with immense wit by Michael Trapp (Stone Cold Fox), who with this script demonstrates he’s a rising star with a surefire career in the biz. And beyond the pages, Michael’s put together an all-star cast, including John Murray (simultaneously gripping and hilarious as a hardboiled detective with an absurdly short attention span), Brandon Scott Jones (who delivers an unforgettable scene with John that’s worth the trip all by itself), and D’Arcy Carden (who abandons her usual laid-back persona here to be smoking hot). These are all total pros who are virtually assured careers in TV and film. Catch them while they’re honing their craft and waiting to be noticed in one of the most consistently fun shows in NYC: Death Wears Stilettos

…and in the other half of this double-bill, a show for which I had high hopes since some of my fondest childhood memories are of Krypto and his Space Canine Patrol Agents (S.C.P.A.). But this ain’t that. Instead, it’s a deliberately dumb version of Saturday morning cartoon shows that demonstrates little respect, affection, or wit towards its source material. The most notable elements are Neil Casey, who is hilarious as an evil alien insect-man; Rob Lathan as Neil’s lackey; and Sue Galloway as the gal even dog creatures want to make out with. This could have been so much more, especially with the brilliant Craig Rowin as co-writer; but instead it’s Dog Fleet 

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($9.47 online or $8 at the door): Simon Amstell (razor-sharp and irresistible UK star), Glenn Wool (highly likeable and semi-political UK star), Lady Carol (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and Josh Gondelman (SF Sketchfest) performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 ($5): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic StandingHarold and Kumar 2), Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host of ComedyJuice), Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), and Nick Vatterott (Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, MTV, Second City) debating 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] 8:00 pm: Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), Kate Berlant (MTV, CNN, host of Crime & Punishment, notable hair), Jessimae Peluso (Last Comic Standing, Chelsea Lately, TruTV, Tyra Banks), Damien Lemon (Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents the Ruckus, MTV2′s Guy Code), and Frank Liotti performing stand-up 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 ($10): Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Vidur Kapur (upcoming Showtime special Pauly-tics), and Matt Ruby (co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here, blog Sandpaper Suit) performing stand-up at this monthly show at The PIT, hosted by twins Todd & Adam Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($12.90): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come to the The Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) tonight to see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event: Baby Wants Candy

9:30 pm ($5): Two UCB Chelsea house sketch troupes try out fresh material: Charlemagne (which includes such talents as Leslie Meisel) and Beige: Maude Night: Beige & Charlemagne

[TOP PICK] 9:30 ($5): Jared Logan (rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, host ofComedyJuice) and Michael Che perform comedy club-length sets at UCB East hosted by Adam Newman (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, comedy CD Not for Horses): Big Long Sets

[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 are no longer being announced in advance, but it’s virtually always a great lineup—at UCB Chelsea hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night LiveConan O’Brien, Comedy Central): Whiplash

[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! 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 6/24/12

June 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For excerpts from Dave Hill’s new bestselling book, please click here.

Laurie Stanton's Sound Diet

Genius comedic performer Ed Herbstman and much more at Melanie Hoopes’ rare gem of a show blending radio, theatre, and comedy: “Laurie Stanton’s Sound Diet: Makeover Edition”…

Supercute!

…and wonderful comedic musicians Supercute! and Pendulum Swings perform at the Vintage Vantage Variety 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:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 2:00 pm: Tom Papa (host of Jerry Seinfeld-produced NBC comedy The Marriage Ref; numerous appearances on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno; three Comedy Central specials), Vic Henley (extremely likeable stand-up veteran; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, HBO, CBS, NBC, FOX, Bravo, MTV, VH1, CMTV), Roger Hailes (Chappelle’s Show, VH1, MTV; writer for FUSE’s A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus), Kenny Josephs, and John F. O’Donnell performing for a free outdoor show at Tompkins Square Park (at the Old Bandshell Lawn): Laughter in the Park

[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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($7; be sure to reserve tickets here because this show almost always sells out): An extraordinary event that happens only once every few months at The Magnet, this show mixes the style of live radio with the depth of classic theatre and the energy of stage comedy to create something unique and unforgettable. It’s written and produced by Melanie Hoopes, and stars Melanie, her genius husband Ed Herbstman, Kelly Coffield Park, Arthur Aulisi, Jenny Bacon, Eli Janney, Jeff Greenberg, and Lauren Balthrop. The theme of this ninth episode is The Makeover: Laurie Stanton’s Sound Diet

[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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Louie, The Eric Andre Show, host of Comedy Night, one-hour Comedy Central special Animal Furnace), Kevin Barnett (Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor), and Josh Rabinowitz (Comedy Central, FX’s Louie, College Humor) performing in Brooklyn’s Red Hook Recreation Area: Red Hook SummerStage

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

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): A (mostly) musical comedy evening with Rachel Trachtenberg’s young gal band Supercute!, Jason Trachtenburg’s superb jazz band Pendulum Swings, storyteller Brandy Barber (Mortified), Laura Zeis (UCB), 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: The Cowmen (jaw-dropping dark comedy group, with members of Murderfist; worth the trip just to experience them), Selena Coppock (author of upcoming book The New Rules for Blondes), J-L Cauvin, (comedy CD Too Big To Fail), Taylor Ketchum, and Toby Muresianu performing at RG’s free weekly show at the Three of Cups lounge (83 First Avenue at 5th Street): Sunday Night Stand-Up

8:00 pm ($8): Improvised episodes of the never-made third season of Twin Peaks at The PIT’s upstairs theatre: In These Woods

[$] 8:00 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s hosted MTV’s Numbnuts and Money From Strangers, and starred in a Comedy Central Presents special, headlining one more night at the Carolines Comedy Club: Jeff Dye

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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Seaton Smith, Paul Hooper, Steve Forrest, and Edward Dominguez 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

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Sketch, improv, and more at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City from comedy troupe Froduce

9:30 pm ($5): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

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 includeyouImprov Nerds Jam

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


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