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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 $) include:
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($15 at the door on $18.50 online with discount codeFISHFAN): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see.
In last week’s show, Molly Knefel’s breakthrough moment—passionately kissing Brenna Palughi in the spirit of open-minded experimentation—somehow got twisted into “a mistake,” and a source of rising tension for all the characters. Among the memorable aftershocks was Brenna calling Molly “young and stupid;” and Lauren Seikaly observing, “I thought two women would get along better as a couple; but it really doesn’t work that well when emotions are flying from both directions. It’s actually easier when the woman is emotional and the man just ‘takes it.'” Also memorable was Lauren telling Molly that she’d better get along with Brenna, or otherwise “you can’t hang around with us anymore.” Considering Lauren produces the show, that could’ve been interpreted as a threat to fire Molly—but only if there was any real-life tension behind the staged tension… So will Molly keep her job, or can we look forward to a sexual harassment lawsuit? Come find out tonight…
Although every episode is a wonderful theatrical event, readers of this site no longer have to pay theatrical prices; you can see this show for a mere $15 by mentioning code FISHFAN at the door. Check out some videos of previous episodes here; and then get in the habit of attending the Soho Playhouse to experience the always fresh and surprising Naked in a Fishbowl
7:00 pm ($5): Kelli Porterfield performs a one-woman show about five residents of Joplin, MO:Mirror Mirror On The Wall
7:30 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street)—at John Morrison’s Motel Luca
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): Brilliant and irresistible comedic singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm (catch Shay Thursdays at The PIT starring in Grease 3: Threase), Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1), and UK comedy star Glenn Wool performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Lee Camp (The Onion, The Huffington Post), Streeter Seidell (CollegeHumor.com), Julia Segal, Mike Birth, and “a surprise guest” performing stand-up in theLolita Bar for Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Chris Gethard (brilliant improvisor and comedic storyteller; star of Comedy Central sitcom Big Lake; Magic Box of Stories, The Stepfathers, The Nights of Our Lives,author of book Weird New York), John Mooney (Comedy Central, 30 Rock), Mark Normand (Last Comic Standing), Nick Turner (College Humor, host of Too Cool for School), and Sam Morril performing at Aces & Eights (34 Avenue A, off 3rd Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Brothers Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel) and Ashok Kondabolu (Dap in Das Racist) host a talk show, with tonight’s guest the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central, host of Whiplash): The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project
8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, High Treason and Slow Burn, trying out new bits at Maude Night
[TOP PICK] [DISCOUNTED] 8:30 pm ($5 cover if you mention HyReviews.com [otherwise $10], plus $7 drink minimum; call 212.989.9319 to reserve seats): Ted Alexandro (one of the finest stand-ups in the country; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, Verizon FIOS guy, Front Page Films, The Other Guys, comedy CD Come Clean), Liz Miele (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central’sLive at Gotham, WE Network, blog Cats, Comedy, and Candy—for sample cat video, please clickhere), Maureen Langan (HBO, Comedy Central, WE Network), Baratunde (Web Editor of The Onion), and more performing at the Cornelia Street Cafe for John Morrison’s Morrison Motel
9:30 pm ($5): “Actors enter with cell phones, not knowing what the night will hold. Their job: To speak aloud whatever they hear through their earpieces. The phones start to ring and the real-time adventure begins. Spontaneous conversations, narrated journeys, and unique experiences overlap as the night’s theme sporadically emerges: Line One
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include Todd Barry (HBO, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program, Adult Swim, feature films The Wrestler and Pete Smalls is Dead), UK comedy star Glenn Wool, Chris Laker (“I know it’s hard to believe I’m 37, but I appear much younger if you look at my accomplishments”), and visiting LA stand-ups Karen Gilgariff, DJ Douggpound, and Josh Fadem—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) atWhiplash
[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member, Monday at 11 should be Whiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on Leo’s show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills on this new stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and Erin Lennox: Fresh
For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.