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