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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: Eileen Kelly (one of the finest storytellers in the country; also a superb stand-up; NBC’s Today Show, Showtime, staff comic for Lifetime; for video samples please click here and here, and for my review of her FringeNYC show please click here) 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!
6:00 pm ($5): Three shows I know nothing about—The Murder of Miko Feeling, UCB Sports, and Standards & Practices—audition 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] 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
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): A musical show at UCB East describing itself as “Female-fronted folky-pop band. Hyper-articulate, nerdy, post-modern sort of musical comedy. Folk singalongs and catchy pop jams are merely the metaphorical table holding up the buffet of wordplay, sarcastic wit, and rapid-fire pop culture references:” Summer & Eve: Folky-Pop Musical Comedy
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Kurt Andersen (Spy Magazine, WNYC’s Studio 360), J. Robin Baitz (co-creator of Brothers & Sisters, Tony nominated playwright), and more describing what it’s like to have a dreamy job at UCB Chelsea to host Catie Lazarus, with musical accompaniment by Chris Sullivan (a.k.a., Shockwave; amazing human boombox; The Daily Show, The Electric Company, Freestyle Love Supreme, co-host of The BEATdown) and Arthur Lewis & The New Guys: Employee of the Month
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): Stephen Said performs music to inspire made-up scenes by superb improvisors from The Story Pirates, iO, Second City, UCB, etc.—plus Starlee Kine (NPR’s This American Life) performing a monologue—at The PIT upstairs theatre: Beauty Love Truth
8:00 pm-MIdnight ($7 for the entire evening): The Magnet house troupes The Boss, Hello Laser, Chet Watkins, and Junior Varsity performing improv for two hours, followed at 10:00 pm by Neil McNamara directing Deep Dish (long-form improv interspersed with character monologues), and then at 11:00 improv competition Inspirado (like UCBT’s Cage Match, but with a game-like challenge component) featuring Eaglefox vs. Listen Kid: 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] 9:00 pm ($5): Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; co-star of MTV’s The Nikki and Sara Show; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1′s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Brooke Van Poppelen (writer for MTV’s Epic Fall; trutV, TLC, co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Streeter Seidell (Editor-in-Chief of College Humor; Jimmy Kimmel, MTV), Anna Drezen, and Max Silvestri performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by Adam Conover: Fresh Out
[$] [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): Mike Britt (Comedy Central), Andrew Schulz (MTV), 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
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Bridget O’Neill (Moth StorySlam Champion, Soundtrack series), Steve Zimmer (Moth GrandSlam and StorySlam Champion), Michele Carlo (author of Fish Out Of Agua), and David Balutanski performing at The PIT upstairs theatre to share tales on tonight’s theme Late Blooming at one of the finest storytelling shows in the country: Risk!
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): At UCB Chelsea, one of the very best sketch shows of 2012. It’s a noir mini-play written & directed with immense wit by Michael Trapp (Stone Cold Fox), who with this script demonstrates he’s a rising star with a surefire career in the biz. And beyond the pages, Michael’s put together an all-star cast, including John Murray (simultaneously gripping and hilarious as a hardboiled detective with an absurdly short attention span), Brandon Scott Jones (who delivers an unforgettable scene with John that’s worth the trip all by itself), and D’Arcy Carden (who abandons her usual laid-back persona here to be smoking hot). These are all total pros who are virtually assured careers in TV and film. Catch them while they’re honing their craft and waiting to be noticed in one of the most consistently fun shows in NYC: Death Wears Stilettos…
…and in the other half of this double-bill, a show for which I had high hopes since some of my fondest childhood memories are of Krypto and his Space Canine Patrol Agents (S.C.P.A.). But this ain’t that. Instead, it’s a deliberately dumb version of Saturday morning cartoon shows that demonstrates little respect, affection, or wit towards its source material. The most notable elements are Neil Casey, who is hilarious as an evil alien insect-man; Rob Lathan as Neil’s lackey; and Sue Galloway as the gal even dog creatures want to make out with. This could have been so much more, especially with the brilliant Craig Rowin as co-writer; but instead it’s Dog Fleet
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Politically incorrect stand-ups Chris DiStefano, Danny Jolles, and Mike Cannon compete in this unique show for which each comic performs a set and then has to provide biting commentary on a popular online video. The audience then votes on who was the most savagely funny and has won the right to return the following month. It all happens at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Mike Feeney: On the Offensive
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm (call 212.757.4100 and use promo code COB10 for discount on cover; plus 2 drink min.): A nerd persona but razor-sharp mind has made this stand-up a rapidly rising star whose performances include Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Comedy Central’s John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up—and now, for one night only, headlining at the Carolines Comedy Club (with an opener by Erin Lennox): MIke Lawrence
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Judah Friedlander (one of the quickest minds in comedy; 30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), Matt Koff (Onion News Network, WitStream, 9 Am Meeting), Andy Rocco (host of Underground Americana, producer of The Tony Show), and Mikey Roohan (Howard Stern) performing stand-up at UCB East hosted by “weirdo” Mike Bocchetti : Being Normal Sucks
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): In the tightest vote I’ve ever seen from Cage Match, improv challenger What I Did for Love defeated super-group Good Dad by one ballet: 74-73. Tonight the new champion will try to hold onto its crown against The Shucks as it competes for audience laughs and votes at UCB Chelsea for the raucous Cage Match
For more, please visit HyReviews.com.