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Jason Mantzoukas & Ed Herbstman perform breathtaking duo improv tonight in a rare appearance as The Mantzoukas Brothers
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 episode, the gals told bar stories that included a midget punching Katharine Heller’s vagina, and sex etiquette.
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
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Katie Hartman, who’s half of hilarious sketch comedy duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, going solo tonight with “a menagerie of bizarre and bewildering characters in the shittiest parade you’ve ever seen. But not a literal parade. Please don’t expect a parade:”Unhuggable
[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Ray DeVito (co-host of Sacapuntas), Justin Murray, Esther Pardo, and Crystian Ramirez performing at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5 online or $8 at the door): Wyatt Cenac (star correspondent for The Daily Show), Jon Friedman (staff writer for Jimmy Fallon, host of The Rejection Show), Laura Krafft (former writer for The Colbert Report), and musical guest Dan Friel (member of band Parts & Labor) 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): Leah Bonnema (We TV, XM Sirius Radio) performs a one-woman show about “her mom, a coma, and the spirit of a boxer from Philly who has the eye of the tiger,” with an opener from sketch duo Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, in Wake Up and Yell At Me
8:00 pm ($5): Two of UCBT’s fine house sketch comedy troupes, Slow Burn and High Treason, trying out new bits at Maude Night
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm ($15 online or at the box office using discount codeTJDNOV): Chicago-based TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are a widely acclaimed improv duo. Just by feeling their way through moment by moment, they create one-hour tales that most authors couldn’t match with months of labored writing. Tonight is the conclusion of their four-evening run at The Barrow Street Theatre: TJ & Dave
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Mike Birbiglia (flat-out one of the finest stand-up comedians in the country; hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on Late Show with David Letterman andLate Night with Conan O’Brien; comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live; off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me) is honing his newest material—which means you can see a performance worth at least $40 for $5. Seats are sold out; but if you don’t mind standing, come and enjoy Mike Birbiglia: An Evening of New Stories
9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy duo Julia Morales and Oscar Montoya explore the quest for love in Date Me to Hell
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($7): Genius improvisors Jason Mantzoukas (We Used to Go Out, Mother,Baby Mama) and Ed Herbstman (co-founder of the Magnet Theater) show off how breathtakingly quick-witted and skillful they are at creating scenes from air. Time Out New York named these guys Best Improv Duo of 2006. Jason is briefly back in NYC from his work in film in LA; take advantage of this rare opportunity to see these improvisation comedy stars shine in an intimate setting as The Mantzoukas Brothers
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—who tonight include John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’sBest Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), James Adomian (finalist of this summer’s Last Comic Standing), and award-winning dark comedy sketch troupe Murderfist—guest-hosted by comedy genius Sean Patton (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1) at Whiplash
[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! 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
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