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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 $) include:
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia has long been one of the finest stand-up comics in the country, with credits including the hour-long Comedy Central special What I Should Have Said is Nothing; two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials; multiple appearances on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien; and the comedy CDs Two Drink Mike and My Secret Public Journal—Live. But what puts Mike in a class all his own is a unique style he’s developed that mixes the razor-sharp hilarity of the finest stand-up with the depth of emotionally moving theatre. Mike pioneered this approach with his previous off-Broadway hitSleepwalk with Me (which he then turned into a New York Times bestselling book, Sleepwalk with Me & Other Painfully True Stories); but he’s raised his game to a whole new level with this show, which is regularly selling out—for good reason. The $35.50 (discounted via code BOX) price is about what you’d pay at a comedy club…and it’ll buy you one of the richest experiences you’re ever likely to receive from art. To enjoy world-class laughs while being taught how to value what’s truly important, grab tickets while you can at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop); this utterly brilliant one-man show is slated to run only through May 15th: Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Comics creator Dennis Calero and stand-up Ben Kissel joining super-hosts Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage in a lively & hilarious discussion about four-color pop culture at Comic Book Club
8:00 pm to Midnight ($5): Four full hours of improv for only five bucks—tonight featuring UCBT house troupes CAPTCHA, Standard Oil, Ragnaröck, Sandino, and Very Good Kiss, and at 11:00 pm a show special enough to merit its own listing (see below)—all at Harold Night
8:00 pm ($5): “A drama written by teen Jerome McDonough that teaches teens about the evils of alcohol abuse. A talented and twistedly funny group of adults (the Marumsco Valley Players) will present the hard-hitting play, stage directions and all, while under the influence: Alky
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Andy Blitz (comedy genius best known for being an Emmy-nominated and long-time writer/performer for Conan O’Brien; has also written for Comedy Central’s Important Things, MTV’s Human Giant, etc.; a thoroughly unique stand-up whose sets—ranging from talking peanut butter to jet-flying cats—tend to be unforgettable), Jessica Delfino (enjoys singing songs about her vagina, as demonstrated by her CD Dirty Folk Rock; created the hilarious and wildly popular YouTube animated short film I Wanna Be Famous; has a cool MySpace page, and an even cooler blog; to get a feel for Jessica’s amazing range and talent, please click here), Streeter Seidell (MTV’s Pranked, College Humor), and Baratunde Thurston (Web editor for The Onion) performing at the Lolita Bar at Liam McEneaney’s Tell Your Friends
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:30 pm: Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), Neal Brennan (Chappelle’s Showwriter, Funny or Die, director of The Goods), John Flynn (superb storyteller; The Nights of Our Lives), and more performing at Brooklyn’s The Royal Oak (594 Union Avenue) along with sketches from Moon regulars such as co-producer Jordan Clifford and hosts Nat Towsen & Bob Walles: The Moon Show
8:30 pm ($5): In this double-bill, each of two of The Magnet’s singing improv troupes will make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Rebound and The Sound & the Fury
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): Baron Vaughn (briefly back home from LA; Jimmy Fallon, USA’s Fairly Legal), Neal Brennan (Chappelle’s Show writer, Funny or Die, director of The Goods), MC Mr. Napkins, and more performing at Ella (9 Avenue A) hosted by Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1):Sweet
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): A super lineup for the return of this fine show at its new location, the PIT downstairs lounge: Jessi Klein (fresh, unique, deliciously organic comic who’s one of the best stand-ups in the country; staff writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central, VH1, NBC, CNN, Adult Swim), Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1), Nick Griffin (David Letterman), and Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno) hosted by Joe DeRosa (HBO’s Down and Dirty, Comedy Central Presents) and Jared Logan (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central): Righteous Kill
9:30 pm ($8): The worlds of “magic, mind-reading, and mutilation” are explored by Matthew Holtzclaw and Prakash Puru: Strange Things
[FREE] 10:15 pm: In this free show, audience members can join in with veteran musical improv talents to make up stories in song on the spot: Musical Magnet Mixer
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Michael Kayne, Winston Noel, Amber Petty, Mike Still, Ashley Ward, and tonight’s guest John Frusciante (UCBT Artistic Associate, Badman)—making up a musical on the spot along with virtuoso improv pianist Frank Spitznagel: Diamond Lion
[FREE] 11:00 pm: A breathtaking 40 comics are given 2 minutes each in this rapid-fire open-mic stand-up show hosted with wit and energy by Jay Welch: Bring It
For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.