NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/31/12

August 31, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For FringeNYC Encore Series coverage, please click here.

Ted Alexandro

Ted Alexandro continues his headlining run at the Eastville Comedy Club…

Joe DeRosa

…and Joe DeRosa headlines this weekend 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 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 people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Cathleen Carr (Birds, The Scene, Dos Experimentos) as they “hope to establish themselves as the leading voices in contemporary South Boston crime noir improv comedy. Watch them, along with special guests Bob Kulhan and Chris Roberti, unspool a suspenseful, heavily-accented mystery thrilla” at The PIT downstairs lounge: Mystic Improv

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): One of my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The Magnet to perform as improv trio Mr. Gorsky; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv troupe LD50

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Improv geniuses Chris Gethard and Gavin Speiller are tonight’s guests with regulars Nate Dern (UCBT Artistic Director), Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), and more at UCB East making up scenes based on interviews with audience members about their love lifes: What I Did For Love

[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. As for its writers, they sizzle when at their best; but when I saw this new show about two months ago, it was a work in progress. Regardless of the current state of the script, you’re virtually guaranteed a good time from the all-star cast—Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden, and Johnathan Fernandez. (The scary faces Molly Lloyd makes are worth the trip all by themselves…) Directed by ace improvisor Ryan Karels: Stone Cold Fox: You Probably Think This Show Is About You

[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.) A razor-sharp comic who’s performed on HBO’s Bored to Death and Down and Dirty, stars in a Comedy Central Presents special, and released comedy CD The Depression Auction), headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Joe DeRosa

[TOP PICK] 8:30 pm ($7): A rotating cast of veteran improvisors make up scenes based on the improvised monologues of the co-owner of The Magnet Theatre: The Armando Diaz Experience

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, Michael Kayne, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: 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): 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.), Mike Yard (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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm : Sara Benincasa (NBC’s Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, CNN, MTV, The Sarah Palin Vlogs, Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, host of Family Hour, book Agorafabulous) is moving to LA. Come party one last time with her in NYC at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Sara Benicasa’s Going Away Bash

10:00 pm ($5): Freestyle rapping long-form improv troupe North Coast recently clobbered some of the best improv groups in NYC at UCBT’s Cage Match. Tonight come see it perform without the pressure of competition at The PIT upstairs theatre, and also catch an improv group that includes Keisha Zollar (Doppelganger): North Coast and Nobody’s Token

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 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?

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

[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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): NYC comics John Knefel, Angel Yau, Jeff & Buttons, Jason Quarles, Marcy Currier, and Meg Ferrill performing 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] 11:30 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

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, with host Andy Haynes promising “a rowdy late night comedy melee with beers being thrown, jokes being told, partial nudity, audience participation…there’s no telling what might happen:” Midnight Run

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/30/12

August 30, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For FringeNYC Encore Series coverage, please click here.

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:

Ted Alexandro

Ted Alexandro headlines at Eastville…

Jen Kwok

…and Jen Kwok debuts her musical comedy show Kwok & The Balls

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Glennis McCarthy 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: 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] 6:30 pm ($5): Two TV mashup parodies—Bob Fosse Presents: Law & Order SVU: The Musical! and America’s Next Great Person—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 at The 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 The Boss to make up scenes on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): At this UCB East improv double-bill, first ace all-gal troupe Doppelganger makes up scenes based around audience tattoos in Doppelganger Gets Inked; and then Sandino—which includes Don Fanelli, Brandon Gulya, and Kate Riley—interviews an audience member about some puzzle and then acts out scenes providing an unexpected answer: Sandino: Unsolved Mysteries

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): 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

…plus in the other half of this double-bill, “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Band Ko-Lition plays music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from The Story Pirates, iO, Second City, UCB, etc.—plus Mike Doughty performing a monologue—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 at The PIT downstairs lounge: The East Side Orphan Riot and Harvey

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Junior Varsity, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Rick Andrews directing The Weave (organic freeform improv “with no rules”), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), featuring last week’s winner against another talented improv troupe: 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?

[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!

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 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): 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.), Mike Yard (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[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

9:00 pm ($5): Sharp stand-ups Colin Jost, Michelle Wolf, Roger Hailes, Nick Vatterott, Lucas Brothers, and Sean Crespo performing at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Jen Kwok (Comedy Central, MTV, Date an Asian) performs songs, stories, and sketches while backed by The Balls, her “brave and hairy band” in Kwok & The Balls; and in the other half of this double-bill at The PIT upstairs theatre, Tim Girrbach & Rodney Umble perform comedic hip-hop as duo Squirm & Germ

[TOP PICK] 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

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, triumphed over The Brothers Hines last week, but Will & Kevin put up a valiant fight; the final score was 113-81. Tonight Good Dad will try to not trip over Greasy Lake as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/29/12

August 29, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.
For FringeNYC Encore Series coverage, please click here.

Adam Wade

Two of NYC’s finest storytellers: Adam Wade at The Nights of Our Lives…

Ophira Eisenberg

…and Ophira Eisenberg at Yum’s the Word

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): Sketch comedy from Brandy Barber (Comedy Central, Late Night Republic), Micah Sherman (Second City, The Scene), and many more performing at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show

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

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm show ($10—which includes free slices of homemade ice cream cakes!): Ophira Eisenberg (brilliant storyteller with notable bangs; Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, host of NPR’s trivia/puzzle show Ask Me Another), Steve Zimmer (Moth GrandSlam Champion), Ben Lillie (host of The Story Collider, Moth StorySlam Champion), Tricia Alexandro performing at this monthly storytelling show at the Le Poisson Rouge’s The Gallery (158 Bleecker Street) hosted by Robin Gelfenbien (storyteller and singer/songwriter; VH1, AMC, Sirius Radio, acclaimed one-woman show at FringeNYC) and that includes free ice cream cakes made by Robin herself: Yum’s the Word

[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 for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[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): 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 UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[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, Anthony Atamanuik, John Flynn, Halle Kiefer, and host Dave Martin—tell tales that are brutally honest and utterly hilarious at UCB Chelsea, with tonight’s theme Love, Lust, and Heartbreak: 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

[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 performers include Brandon Gulya, Tyler Fischer, and Sean Hart; 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

[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

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Tuesday 8/28/12

August 28, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC Encore Series coverage, please click here.

Elna Baker and Marina Franklin

Bid adieu to summer with ace storyteller Elna Baker at “The Tony Show” or ace stand-up Marina Franklin at “The Afterlife”

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] 7:00 pm-Midnight ($7 for the whole evening): In this 5-hour extravaganza, four of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Montels and Atticus (at 7:00) and Aquarius and Mint Condition (at 8:30); followed at 10:15 by a free show that lets audience members join in with musical improv troupe Aquarius to make up stories in song: Musical Magnet Mixer

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Comics artist J.K. Woodward (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Doctor Who) 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, plus—tonight only—original comic art!: Comic Book Club

7:30 pm-9:00 pm ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes The Pox, Creature, and Good Girl at this first half of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): The lovely and talented gals of HelloGiggles.com share tales about most embarrassing moments at UCB East, with storytellers including Abbi Jackson (Broad City) and Bethany Hall (producer of The Chris Gethard Show): HelloGiggles: The Oooops!

8:00 pm ($8): Head writer & director Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins, Jen & Steve) and a dozen other talents perform brand new sketch comedy at The PIT downstairs lounge: Big Business

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min.): Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, Craig Ferguson, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Emily Heller (Comedy Central; staff writer for Rooftop Comedy; for ruminations on pregnancy, please click here), and Andrew Short performing on this week’s topic Final Act at Sidewalk NYC (94 Avenue A) hosted tonight by Erin Judge (Comedy Central; comedy album So Many Choices; for hilarious short bit on men vs. women, please click here): The Afterlife: Final Act

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Matt McCarthy (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death, host of AMC’s Action Pack, Comedy Central, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys, host of Marking Out), Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Jay Nog (AMC), Ritch Duncan (TruTV), Lauren Vino (Second City), and Sagar Bhat performing stand-up at this weekly show at Brooklyn’s The Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Avenue) hosted by Sean Donnelly, Robert Dean, Steve O’Brien, and/or Kevin McCaffrey: Comedy at Alligator Lounge

9:15 pm-Midnight ($5): Long form improv known as The Harold from UCB Chelsea house troupes Johnny Romance, The Regulars, and Bucky—plus advanced improv students make up a story in which the first scene is the last scene for a form called The Evente—at this second half (continued from 7:30 pm) of Harold Night

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Anthony Atamanuik (Death by Roo Roo, 30 Rock, Conan O’Brien, Huffington Post, The Nights of Our Lives) “has been kidnapped and replaced by a doll and Andy Rocco!” Please help with the search for Tony, along with Elna Baker (genius storyteller, and bestselling author of the comedic book The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance; writer for Glamour, Elle; NPR’s This American Life; co-host of red-hot The Talent Show; for sample tales, please click here), Michael Che (host of Michael Che’s Community Service), Arthur Meyer (writer for Jimmy Fallon), and producer Andy Rocco at UCB East building upon the mythology that is The Tony Show

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.): Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Caroline Rhea Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Comedy Central), Jessica Kirson (Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, VH1, Logo one-woman show My Cookie’s Gone), Jono Zalay, Akaash Sighn, and Rus Gutin performing stand-up at the Gotham Comedy Club: ComedyJuice

[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 8/27/12

August 27, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC Encore Series coverage, please click here.

Sara Schaefer and Kristen Schaal

Wildcats Sara Schaefer and Kristen Schaal perform at Hot Tub Variety

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: Weekly hour-long open-mic storytelling show, with audience members chosen from a bucket of names getting to tell tales for 8 minutes each at The PIT downstairs lounge along with host Jake Hart: The Dump

6:00 pm ($5 cover & $5 drink min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 1/2 minutes per set and 20 comics crammed into 2 hours—at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club (99 MacDougal Street) for John Morrison’s Village Motel

[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] 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 star improvisors as John Lutz & Scott Adsit (30 Rock, John & Scott) and Vanessa Bayer (SNL) 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): 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 Rock; Comedy 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), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno, HBO, FOX’s In Living Color, Comedy Central), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), and musical guest Ted Leo performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with guest host Adam Newman: Hot Tub Variety

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Carrie Gravenson (Pink Collar Comedy Tour), Byrne & O’Keeffe (Horse Comedy), and The League of Women Votes (yes, seriously) at UCB East hosted by Sharon Spell and featuring the Shrink Dancers: The Big Shrink

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Rob O’Reilly, Aaron Glaser, Sergio Chicon, and Alex Edelman 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): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at this monthly show at The PIT hosted by twins Todd & Adam Stone: Stone and Stone Show

[DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($11.34 [vs. $21.69] online using discount code LLED10): NYC stand-ups specializing in political humor make fun of our current election cycle at The Playroom Theater (151 West 46th Street); take advantage of discount code LLED10 to see this off-Broadway show for under $12: Laughing Liberally: Electile Dysfunction

8:30 pm ($5): Alexis Lambright performing a one-woman show at The Magnet about her quest to pop her cherry: Combating Adult Virginity

[TOP PICK] 9:30 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, Michael Martin, 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., a leg-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, 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

9:30 pm ($5): The debut of the only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[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: Karaoke plus Mad Libs—in which the audience chooses a list of words to swap into a popular song—at the UCB East Bar hosted by karaoke experts Alan Starzinski and Amy Jo Jackson, plus live keyboard accompaniment by Joe McGinty: Karaoke Night at the Hot Chicks Room

[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 guest-hosted by someone wonderful (while Leo Allen is in LA): 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 8/26/12

August 26, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Ashley Wren Collins

On this final day of FringeNYC 2012, Ashley Wren Collins shows off her comedic powers, and more, in polished and consistently fun musical comedy “Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood”…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

…and it’s your last chance to be a winner by catching FringeNYC’s amazing Japanese dark fantasy comedy before it moves on to Canada for its world tour: “Hanafuda Denki—A Tale of Playing Cards”

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] 1:30 pm ($10): One of the most acclaimed improv duos in the country discuss the art and craft of what they do at The PIT upstairs theatre: A Conversation About Improv with TJ & Dave

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm; but you should ideally arrive by 1:45 pm for the pre-show ($18): A spectacular dark fantasy comedy that’s my second favorite show at FringeNYC 2012 (out of the 55 I’ve caught so far): colorful, dream-like, overwhelming, and like nothing else you’re likely to see anywhere. It’s from an all-Japanese troupe (with easy-to-read English subtitles projected on the wall); and kudos to FringeNYC for bringing this amazing show to New York. Don’t miss your last chance to see it (before this production’s world tour moves on to Canada), today at 2:00 pm at the HERE Theatre Mainstage (145 Sixth Avenue; take the C/E subway to Spring Street): Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards—Are You a Winner or a Loser in This Life-and-Death Game?

[TOP PICK] [$] 2:00 pm ($18): An award-winning musical that’s one of the most polished comedies at this year’s FringeNYC, and which showcases quadruple-threat talent and star Ashley Wren Collins and a terrific mostly-gal cast, running today at 2:00 pm at The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd Street and Bleecker): Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood

[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

6:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show at The Magnet about how “Molly Marjorie Rosenblatt is in New York and her musical theater career isn’t taking off. She doesn’t have a job, but thinks finding a boyfriend will make life easier. Learn how she comes into her own as a broke and unemployed hot mess living in Queens through Facebook stalking, online dating, and adventures in Brooklyn. Told primarily through original songs (music and lyrics by Mallory Schlossberg, arrangements by Joel Esher), and directed by Jen Sanders: Molly Marjorie Rosenblatt Needs A Man

[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 & R an Karels (Krompf): Indie Cage Match

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

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Kevin Avery, Jono Zalay, Anna Drezen, J. F. Harris, and Brendan McLaughlin 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 ($10): At The Magnet, stand-up from Jon Bander & Jarret Berenstein, and improv from Kevin McDonald, Peter McNerney, Louis Kornfeld, Elana Fishbein, Kevin Cragg, Alan Fessenden & Rick Andrews: The Kevin McDonald Show

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Mark Normand (hilarious stand-up; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central; co-host of Hot Soup and We’re All Friends Here), Tom Steffen, Missy Baker, and Nimesh Patel 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] 9:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with four minutes per comic, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Molly Austin & Mike Brown: Vicious Cycle

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Dive comedy and Stripped Stories), Mara Herron (Web series That Chick Mara Herron), and Hadiyah Robinson performing stand-up at this free weekly gay-themed show at Therapy hosted by Brad Loekle: Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour

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 8/25/12

August 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

There are only two more chances to enjoy the spectacular dark fantasy comedy…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

…that’s my second favorite show of FringeNYC 2012 (out of 51 seen to date)…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

…playing only today at noon and Sunday at 2:00 pm…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

….”Hanafuda Denki—A Tale of Playing Cards—Are You a Winner or a Loser in This Life-and-Death Game?”

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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] Noon ($18): A spectacular dark fantasy comedy that’s my second favorite show at FringeNYC 2012 (out of the 51 I’ve caught so far): colorful, dream-like, overwhelming, and like nothing else you’re likely to see anywhere. It’s from an all-Japanese troupe (with easy-to-read English subtitles projected on the wall); and kudos to FringeNYC for bringing this amazing show to New York. Don’t miss your two remaining chances to see it, today at noon and Sunday at 2:00 pm, at the HERE Theatre Mainstage (145 Sixth Avenue; take the C/E subway to Spring Street): Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards—Are You a Winner or a Loser in This Life-and-Death Game?

[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 Petting Zoo, The Bartender, and Orange Augustus and more at The Magnet kicking off your Saturday evening: The Rundown

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A gala celebration of a 10 Year Anniversary for The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City, featuring Colin Quinn, Sean Patton, James Adomian, Mark Normand, and more: The Creek and the Cave Turns 10!

[TOP PICK] 7:00 ($5): Dan St. Germain (quick-witted & enormously likeable rising star; Jimmy Fallon, The Electric Company, MTV, VH1), Kevin Bartini (writer for HBO, The Daily Show, MPR podcast), Reid Faylor (host of hilarious monthly Creek show Underbelly), and Cody Hess performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Lash (The Daily Show, HBO, Showtime) and in some way connected to Reddit.com: /r/standup

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): Female sketch writers & performers at The Magnet present Lady Sketch Show

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): The Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?, and a stand-up who’s performed a Comedy Central Presents special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Ben Bailey

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] 8:30 pm ($10): Rob Cantrell (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, VHI, documentary Metaphysical Graffiti, High Times) and other sharp stand-ups performing at UCB East hosted by Kara Klenk: 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), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

9:00 pm ($7): Magnet improvisors team up with poets at Kiss*Punch*Poem

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which doesn’t always ht the mark but provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won last year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group, tonight joined by guest sketch duo Rue Brutalia: Murderfist: Late and Dirty

[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

[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 8/24/12

August 24, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

Don’t miss the spectacular dark fantasy comedy…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

…from an all-Japanese troupe (with English subtitles), running
7:00 pm tonight…

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards

…Saturday at noon, and Sunday at 2:00 at FringeNYC 2012: Hanafuda Denki—A Tale of Playing Cards

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 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

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($18): A spectacular dark fantasy comedy that’s a bit like anime on stage; colorful, dream-like, overwhelming, and like nothing else you’re likely to see this year. It’s from an all-Japanese troupe (with easy-to-read English subtitles projected on the wall); and kudos to FringeNYC for bringing this amazing show to New York. Don’t miss your three remaining chances to see it tonight at 7:00, tomorrow at noon, and Sunday at 2:00 at the HERE Theatre Mainstage (145 Sixth Avenue; take the C/E subway to Spring Street): Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards—Are You a Winner or a Loser in This Life-and-Death Game?

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: For one last night this week, a TV & Broadway stand-up star hones an hour of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre: Colin Quinn

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A critically acclaimed show described as “Two Men. One Chain. Fully Improvised,” with Dion Flynn (Jimmy Fallon, Matador) & Nate Starkey (Big Black Car, Starkey & Grace) performing at The PIT upstairs theatre: Shackled

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet that flows from moment to moment, with no sweeps or tag outs—”each exit starts a new scene, while performers use devices ranging from monologues to in-scene questions to break into characters and relationships quicker and deeper:” Scoresby; plus in the second half of this double-bill, improv troupe LD50

[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. As for its writers, they sizzle when at their best; but when I saw this new show about two months ago, it was a work in progress. Regardless of the current state of the script, you’re virtually guaranteed a good time from the all-star cast—Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden, and Johnathan Fernandez. (The scary faces Molly Lloyd makes are worth the trip all by themselves…) Directed by ace improvisor Ryan Karels: Stone Cold Fox: You Probably Think This Show Is About You

[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), 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

8:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

[$] 8:00 pm ($15): Twelve improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre will improvise for 24 hours straight, from 8:00 pm tonight until 8:00 pm tomorrow night. For $15, you can come and watch for the entire 24 hours or any portion of it. The performers for this event are Darcy Burke, Nick Carrillo, Kevin Cragg, Patrick Cucuta, David Chase Kimball-Stanley, Michael Greene, Toby Knops, Adam Luke, Oscar Montoya, Chris Roberti, Rebecca Vigil, and Marshall York: 24 Hour Improv Challenge

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($32.75 & 2-drink min.): The Emmy Award-winning host of Cash Cab and NBC’s Who’s Still Standing?, and a stand-up who’s performed a Comedy Central Presents special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Ben Bailey

[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

[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

8:30 pm ($7): Jarret Berenstein performs a one-man show at The Magnet that “mixes stand-up, sketch, and poorly executed animation:” Boosh. Kla-Klau.

[FREE] 8:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Adrienne Iapalucci (Last Comic Standing), Jena Axelrod, Sergio Chicon, Joe Pontillo, and Pat Rigby performing at Mr. Dennehy’s Irish Pub (63 Carmine Street) hosted by Troy Bynum & Carrie Gravenson: The Tomfoolery Hour

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from comedy geniuses Chris Gethard and Shannon O’Neill, plus stellar comics Silvija Ozols, Zach Woods, Michael Delaney, Will Hines, and Connor Ratliff, performing at UCB Chelsea—the all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—Michael Kayne, Amber Petty, Ashley Ward, Morgan Phillips, and Winston Noel—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

[$] [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): Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Dan Soder (Comedy Central, VH1; for set about being a hypochondriatic drug user, please click here), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

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

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 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?

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

[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

Midnight ($5): A three-person improv competition at UCB East hosted by Brian Glidewell, Josh Patten, and Ben Rameaka: Three for All

[FREE] Midnight ($5): Amber Nelson (fearless rising star; sketch troupe Thunder Gulch, co-host of Late Night Stand and Mustache Party), Tim Diamond, Marilyn Summers, Pepper Jill & Jack, and more performing at a variety show embracing all forms of comedy at The PIT downstairs theatre hosted by Taylor Clark: FGP Late Nite

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Plus it’s hosted by members of Maude troupe Fambly, typically including such wonderful talents as Nicole Byer and Veronica Osorio: Liquid Courage

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Thursday 8/23/12

August 23, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

Adira Amram and Billy Holiday

Adira Amram puts on a Brooklyn Dance Party; LIvia Scott becomes Billie Holiday at Livia’s Castle of Enchantment…

Tom Shillue and Reggie Watts

…Tom Shillue hosts Funny Story; and Reggie Watts is among the stars at 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:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 6:00 pm: Sue Galloway (The Law Firm) 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!

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): Popular UCBT star & Chris Gethard Show icon Vacation Jason tonight auditions his own production, Vacation Jason’s Island Flavors, at 7:00 pm. And before that are two shows I know nothing about—The State vs. Josh: The Trial of The Millenials and Boob Tube—also auditioning for a spot on the schedule of the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. At $1.66 per show, it’s hard to go wrong with 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

7:00 pm ($5): Two singing improv troupes make up entire musicals on the spot in this double-bill at The 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] 7:30 pm ($5): A beloved show that brings dead celebrities back to life at UCB East, with magical comedic chameleon Livia Scott (Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Dirty Movie) hosting tonight as Billie Holiday, Sherman Hemsley, and Truman Capote. Joining the party will be stand-up Jason Saenz, musical guest Happy Lives, and sword swallower The Lady Aye: Livia’s Castle of Enchantment

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm doors, 8:00 pm Heloise, 9:00 pm Adira ($10 at the door or $11.78 online): Adira Amram is a fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act. She and her backup dancers, “The Experience,” will wow you at a special performance tonight at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street). If you want to come early, you can see musical group Heloise and The Savoir Faire for the same ticket; plus after Adira there’ll be a bona fide dance party: Adira Amram and the Experience: Dance Party

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents, 2011 ECNY Award for Best Storyteller) gathers top comics to tell funny stories at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street), with tonight’s guests Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups & storytellers in the country; former staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Trace Crutchfield (TV series Unconventionally Yours with Trace Crutchfield), and Lisa Delarios (Comedy Central; co-host of The Party Machine): Tom Shillue’s Funny Story

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): “Matt Hobby & Mary Grill have a love deeper than one thousand really deep oceans. Through storytelling and sketch comedy, Matt & Mary show you the characters who helped them on their journey from fiancés to newlyweds:” Tying the Knot

…and in the other half of this UCB Chelsea double-bill, a sketch show about one of the sadder aspects of the human condition: Lonely People

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

8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, The Boss, and Phooka performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Rick Andrews directing The Weave (organic freeform improv “with no rules”), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component), featuring Eaglefox vs. The Wrath: 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!

[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

9:00 pm ($5): Calise Hawkins, Mike Recine, Seaton Smith, Missy Baker, Grant Gordon, and Brendan Fitzgibbons, and more performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): UCBT stars Neil Casey (Death by Roo Roo) and Will Hines (The Stepfathers) in a two-man sketch show at UCB Chelsea directed by Michael Delaney: Small Men

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Reggie Watts (musical improv comedy genius; IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, Comedy Central special; Jimmy Fallon; Electric Company; Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited tour; for video samples, please click here), Marina Franklin (developing into one of the finest stand-ups in the country, with an uncommonly gentle, graceful style that’s pure joy; Last Comic Standing, Chappelle’s Show, VH1, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Erin Barker (Moth GrandSlam champion, co-host of The Story Collider), Brent Sullivan (Comedy Central; for video about crying while reading The Giving Tree, please click here), and Jaqi Furback performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme So Emotional at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!

[TOP PICK] 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

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 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] 11:00 pm ($5): Improv troupe Good Dad, comprised of such superstars as Neil Casey, Fran Gillespie, and Jon Gabrus, kicked the crap out of troupe Kinsey last week 125-21. Tonight Good Dad plans to punish veteran duo The Brothers Hines as these two teams compete for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite people, Julie Sharbutt—who’s performed with some of the greatest improvisors alive at UCBT’s Gravid Water—tonight goes for improv gold herself with comedy partner Liz Wisan at The PIT downstairs lounge in a very accurately named show: Smart & Attractive

11:00 pm ($5): “Secret movie screenings of movies you probably haven’t seen and/or should see again” at UCB East (which used to be a movie theatre) hosted by Ryan Karels (Grandma’s Ashes, Krompf), Connor Ratliff (The Stepfathers), JD Amato (Harold Night), and Mike Roth (Two Boots Video): Secret Movie Show Presented by Two Boots Video

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 8/22/12

August 22, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

For FringeNYC 2012 shows rated & reviewed, please click here.

For fave Fringe shows to see over the next 5 days, please click here.

Scott Adsit and John Lutz

At UCB Chelsea, 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit and John Lutz will blow the roof off as genius improv duo John & Scott…

Michael Patrick O'Brien

…and then Saturday Night Live’s Michael O’Brien will perform his one-man show 45 Minutes of Things

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: A TV & Broadway stand-up star hones an hour of material at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre every day this week: Colin Quinn Tries Stuff Out

7:00 pm ($5): A sketch show about NYC commuting written & produced by Michelle Francesca Thomas at The PIT downstairs lounge: Transit Stories

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

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): Top UCB East comics—including Fran Gillespie, John Murray, Brandon Scott Jones, Leslie Meisel, Brandon Gulya, and Jim Santangeli—perform solo character bits and sketches, hosted by Kara Klenk: UCBT Comedy Talent Showcase

[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 for Saturday Night Live) to form a super-smart and hilarious star improv duo that’s become one of the very best attractions at UCB Chelsea and should not be missed: John & Scott

[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

[TOP PICK] 9:00 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 UCB East as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Saturday Night Live write Mike O’Brien “performs solo sketch and stand-up, reads a short story, and in general, does things. Come out to see experimental comedy as well as comedy that involves no experimentation” at UCB Chelsea: MIke O’Brien: 45 Minutes of Things

[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: Celebrating the release of Douglas Widick’s music video “Lemme Eat That Off Yo Abs” are the Cocoon Central Dance Team, Kiah Victoria, and more at The PIT downstairs lounge: Douglas Widick Music Video Release Party

[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 performers include Kara Klenk, and “Alex Kane & his dad;” 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

[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

[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

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,338 other followers