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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 $) include:
[FREE] 6:00 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam
6:30 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 6:30 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street): John Morrison’s Motel Luca
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 7:00 pm ($10 at the door or online with discount code RUSH): 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, there were hilarious arguments about holiday gift-giving…and the character played by Katharine Heller got engaged while watching Shaun of the Dead! (Yay, zombies! Yay, Katharine!!!)
Although every episode is a wonderful theatrical event, readers of this site no longer have to pay theatrical prices; you can see tonight’s season finale for a mere $10 by mentioning code RUSH at the door or when ordering online. 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
[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Adam Newman (College Humor), Nick Turner (co-host of Too Cool for School), Susan Alexander, Sean Wilkinson, and Nick Cobb 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): Pioneering UK comedy star Andy de la Tour (The Young Ones), Moshe Kasher (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Jamie Kilstein (Conan O’Brien, The Onion), and Shaina and Mary Feinberg (“mother/daughter cha-cha sensation”) 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, Thunder Gulch and Gramp’s, trying out new bits at Maude Night
8:00 pm ($5): Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central), Andy Haynes (Jimmy Fallon), Zach & Zach (Zach and Zach Save The Community Center), and Charles Gould performing at the White Rabbit (145 East Houston Street) for John Szeluga’s Not Friday
8:00 pm ($8): A talk show with guests Myq Kaplan (finalist on this summer’s Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents), Maureen Langan (Fox News, MSNBC), and Baratunde Thurston (The Onion) hosted by Boston-based radio host & comic Brian Joyce: A Live Talk Show To Be Named Later
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15 at the door or $18 online, plus $12 min. if you sit at a table): Brilliant comedic singer/songwriter/actor Micah Bucey and his partner Nicholas Williams performing a tour de force series of parodies in the form of mini-musicals at Joe’s Pub for their intimate and joyful show The Gay Agenda
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and tonight’s guest John Gemberling (Death by Roo Roo)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel:Diamond Lion
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 Anthony Jeselnik (one of my all-time favorite stand-ups; writer/performer for Jimmy Fallon; Conan O’Brien, HBO, Comedy Central Presents; debut comedy CD Shakespeare), Jay Pharoah (cast member of Saturday Night Live), Moshe Kasher (Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately), Karen Kilgariff (former head writer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show), and more—guest-hosted by the wonderful Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; 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 UCBT’s all-star 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.