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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:
6:30 pm ($5): Two TV pilots—written respectively by Brian Glidewell (co-author of the superb Newsadoozies mini-musical—see 8:00 pm listings) and Steve Theiss (finalist for the 2010 Disney ABC TV Writing Program)—are performed by sharp UCBT comics as staged readings at UCB Chelsea. Honestly, the loglines aren’t that compelling; but if you’re interested in writing for TV and/or doing your own staged readings, you may find this educational: Staged TV Pilot Readings
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; WNYC, Manhattan Monologue champion, Dirty Minds) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s guests Ben Lillie (co-host of The Story Collider), Kerri Doherty (Adult Swim, host of Geeking Out), and Jiji Lee (The Moth), plus accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko
7:00 pm-12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Magnet house troupes Nintendo, Horses, Chet Watkins, Featherweight, Dr. Champagne, Brick, Flower Girl, and The Wrath performing improv, followed by a free audience interactive show with Dr. Champagne at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt
7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from Joe List (Comedy Central), Micah Sherman (Second City, The Scene), Dan Hirshon (Huffington Post), Ben Kissel, and many more performing at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Micah Sherman: Old School Sketch Comedy Show
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): A delightful dark musical about the rich consuming the poor—literally. Witty songs from Brian Glidewell, Marcy Jarreau, and Kevin Carter, a uniformly strong cast (Megan Maes, Aaron Jackson, Michael Martin, Katie Schorr, Dan Hodapp, Brian Glidewell, and Stephanie Streisand), and sharp direction from Christopher Gladysz and Lauren Conlin Adams make this 30-minute surreal parody of Newsies a winner as a UCBT comedy, and recommended. That said, right now the story is paper-thin and the characters cardboard. While the latter is turned into an asset (e.g., a leg-injured character is hilariously named “Cripply”), I’m hoping the creators consider making all the elements deeper and more nuanced, and expanding the production to a 90-minute legit theatre length. Meanwhile, enjoy this remarkably compact version that delivers a quick, sharp punch to the gut you’re likely to remember: Newsadoozies: A Man-Eating Musical…
…plus in the other half of this double-bill, a (mostly) one-man show by George Kareman titled Incredibly Extreme and Extremely Incredible
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($65): This isn’t pure comedy, but an enchanting hodgepodge of original tall tales fueled by laughs. The 2-hour play from the wonderful guys of PigPen blends shadow puppetry, songs, inventive staging, and more to create living dreams. For my review of PigPen’s two previous shows at FringeNYC, please click here and here. This newest work is their most ambitious, and that sometimes results in the story feeling too slow or padded; but it also yields a deeper emotional payoff. And even though not all the bits hit the mark, so many of them do that you’re likely to feel satisfied—and missing PigPen’s world after the show is over. The production is at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street) through November 26th: The Old Man and the Moon
8:00 pm ($5): Eddie Brill (former long-time booker for David Letterman), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and Jamie LeeLo (for stand-up reel, please click here) performing stand-up at The PIT downstairs lounge, produced by Micah Sherman: Brian and Joe’s Power Hour
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): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any fighting) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines
[FREE] 9:00 pm:Mike Dobbins (unique stream-of-consciousness stand-up), Kara Klenk (host of If You Build It), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Ryan Conner (writer for SNL’s Weekend Update), Amanda Baramki, Joe Harrington, and Brian Jian performing stand-up at this free weekly comedy show at Lucky Jack’s Bar (129 Orchard Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?
[MEGA-TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A writer/performer for Saturday Night Live (for a sample, please click here) who’s also one of the very finest stand-ups in the country—with appearances on Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1′s Best Week Ever, etc.—performing a deliciously long set that’s likely to leave you breathless with laughter and chuckling weeks later: John Mulaney: For the Hour
[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
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: 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 guest host is Boris Khaykin; for the 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
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