NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 5/21/10

May 21, 2010

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The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Breathtakingly skilled & hilarious The Improvised Shakespeare Company continues its NYC run tonight at The Barrow Theatre

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] 7:00 pm ($5): In this fun show, 16 musical performers turn an audience member’s suggestion into two musical fairy tales that tell what happened from the viewpoint of first the hero and then the villain, with “all the music and magic of a Disney flick…plus the darkness of the Brothers Grimm:” Once Upon a Time

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Wearing wigs and waistcoats, extraordinarily quick-witted improvisors Neil Reynolds and Matt Tucker portray “two of America’s angriest founders: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr” and the events leading up to their historic duel—while crafting deliciously silly scenes. For example, when the duo performed during the magical Del Close Improv Marathon in 2007, Burr proposed a law declaring US land as “international waters” so he’d have more freedom to sleep with married women. When Hamilton thwarted him, the villain seceded and declared his body his own country, “the United State of Burr.” These Boston-based improvisors are among the sharpest in the country, and it’s thrilling that they’re gracing NYC for this one night only with their unique themed improv. Expect something quite special at Code Duello: Hamilton & Burr

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:30 pm & 10:00 pm ($29, plus 2-drink minimum): One of the finest stand-ups alive—with appearances on HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central PresentsThe Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, and feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead—headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Todd Barry

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm:Julian McCullough (Comedy Central Presents), Giulia Rozzi (Stripped Stories), and “special guest host Betty White” celebrating Roger Hailes’ birthday with hosts Pat Stango & Blaine Perry, all at Karma Lounge for this endearingly oddball monthly comedy show: Don’t Touch Me There

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): A groundbreaking and surreal improv/sketch troupe performing with new guests each Friday and making a valid complaint: Centralia: We Were Supposed To Have Flying Cars By Now

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($24.78 online if you use code VIPMAY, plus 2-item minimum): A young veteran comic who’s a star improvisor and sketch performer for troupe Derrick; co-star of the feature film Mystery Team; and co-star of NBC sitcom Community, headlining tonight through Saturday at the elegant Comix Comedy Club: Donald Glover

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Award-winning sketch troupe Murderfist, plus stand-ups Jared Logan, Vince Averill, Max Silvestri, Nick Vatterott, and Ben Kronberg, performing at Brooklyn’s Coco 66 for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s Too Cool for School

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): NYC stand-ups Allison Castillo, Michael Terry, Cara Kilduf, Karith Foster, and Jym Benzin performing in Ochi’s Lounge at a gay-themed show hosted by Paul Case: The Back Room

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($10): Always fresh and imaginative world-class sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about awkward goodbyes at the end of a party, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($17 online or at the door with discount codeFBKISC): Genius improvisors from Chicago delivering one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see by making up a play on the spot using the language and themes of the Bard. This is the finest improv troupe in the world, and one of the best comedy shows of any kind, anywhere. Tonight is the second of a five-night NYC run, with every evening utterly different from the last. Try to catch every single performance of the breathtakingly skilled Improvised Shakespeare Company

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): In this new show, Thomas Middleditch, Jonathan Gabrus, Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): Professional clowns Jeff and Chris Manley combining clowning, acrobatics, magic, and improv in Neon Lights

11:30 pm ($5): Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell, champions of the Magnet Theater’s 2009 Improv Duo Tournament, bring nearly five years of improv collaboration to stage “for an evening of bold, committed characters and truthful, grounded scenework” at Hodapp & Rothwell

[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): “Jon Gabrus is a rugby player from Long Island who loves to drink, which is the perfect trifecta for getting into ridiculous and dangerous situations. Come drink along with Gabrus as he shares some of his beer-soaked tales, like the time he ate a dead snake, or cooked a fork on a barbecue and branded himself…twice. There will plenty of drinking games, lots of audience participation, and an appalling lack of shame. His bartender, special guests, and his lack of self-control will join forces to create a night Jon probably won’t remember:” Blackout Drunk

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