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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, Katharine Heller’s character was offered a movie deal on her book…but for the Lifetime Network, which elicited hilarious reactions. (Katharine also dodged a bullet about her use of BitTorrent…) Plus there was an extended group discussion about masturbation, including improper use of the beaks of stuffed animals.
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
7:30 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): Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson), Julian McCullough (Comedy Central Presents, IFC, MTV, VH1), singer/songwriter Shonali Bhowmik (co-host of Variety SHAC, band Tigers and Monkeys), Jane Borden (treasured Comedy Editor of Time Out New York), and Scott Moran performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from NYC comedy royalty Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety
8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Gramps’ and Stone Cold Fox, trying out new bits at Maude Night
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A comedy genius who’s one of the funniest character-based performers alive stretching his skills tonight with stand-up as he tests out material for his upcoming Comedy Central Presents special (and Nick, if I didn’t have my screenwriters workshop tonight nothing could keep me from your show; my two cents are to focus on the character & performance bits only you can do, away from puns that anybody can do, and periodically go deep in a way that’s genuinely revealing—e.g., see this month’s Bill Hicks section): Nick Kroll Does Stand-Up
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Hannibal Buress (staff writer for 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson), Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill), Liz Miele, John Knefel, Lisa Delarios, and David Cope performing stand-up at The PIT hosted by Hari Kondabolu (Comedy Central Presents): Hari Kondabolu Presents Stand-Up
10:00 pm ($5): Hip hop musical improv from Nick Brown, Don Romaniello, and Michael Short pretending to be NYC police officers: Rap Crimes Division
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include comedy geniuses Mike Birbiglia and Andy Blitz, razor-sharp & charismatic rising star Baron Vaughn, Dan Soder, and Damien Lemon—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central) at Whiplash
[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.