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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:
[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
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
[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
[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
[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
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