NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 1/5/11

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Fifty First Jokes 2011

A delightful annual gathering of NYC's comedy community, it's time again for "50 First Jokes"

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 to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm doors, 8:00 pm show ($10 online using discount code FJ10): For the fifth time in a row, 50+ NYC comics come together to each tell the first joke he or she has written in the new year. Expect an exuberant gathering of comedic talent…and wild partying afterwards. The scheduled lineup includes Amy Schumer, Sean Patton, Adira Amram, Myq Kaplan, Brooke Van Poppelen, Sara Schaefer, Andrea Rosen, Matt McCarthy, Ben Lerman, Ophira Eisenberg, Victor Varnado, Joe DeRosa Jared Logan, Kurt Braunohler, Mike Lawrence, Jon Friedman, Jena Friedman, Carmen Lynch, Roger Hailes, Vince Averill, Giulia Rozzi, Calise Hawkins, Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Kurt Metzger, Brent Sullivan, Pat Dixon, Nate Bargatze, Sean Donnelly, Nick Turner, Sean O’Connor…and many, many more. There’ll be a packed house at 92Y Tribeca for this lovely coming together of NYC’s comedy community. Hosted by Claudia Cogan and John F. O’Donnell, it’s the 2011 edition of 50 First Jokes

8:00 pm ($5): A highly quirky and dark multimedia sketch show from Peter Blomquist and Jeff Wiens that doesn’t always hit the mark, but has an integrity to it that may end up haunting you; and Nicole Shabtai performing a one-woman show about “an illustrious 13-year-old socialite and notorious Upper East Side private schooler we all love to hate,” in the double-bill Franco & Billy: Diamonds of Fire and Citizen Rothstein

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A double-bill of improv genius troupes: Gavin Speiller (Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers (Reuben Williams, Cage Match), and Jonathan Gabrus (The Law Firm, The Nights of Our Lives) make up a single long scene as Outlook of the Poet; and Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik make up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

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