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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] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($35.50 with discount code BOX): Mike Birbiglia performing a unique blend of stand-up and storytelling that’s one of the best theatrical shows in NYC. For my more detailed write-up, please click here; and then grab tickets at theBarrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($10): A beloved high-concept sketch troupe that delights in exploring silly ideas and wordplay (for example, demonstrating that a caveman and the Cookie Monster sound remarkably alike when saying such things as “Me have problem with subject/verb placement…”) debuts an all-new show: Elephant Larry
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Christina Gausas, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, and more—plus a rotating cast of stellar visitors who’ve included writers & performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show—all joyously declaring Let’s Have a Ball
7:30 pm ($7): Improv veterans Mark Grenier, Louis Kornfeld, and Charlie Whitcroft making up a play on the spot in Theory of Everything
[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.): A Mad TV and YouTube star headlining through Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Anjelah Johnson
[FREE—plus FREE BEER!] 8:00 pm: A variety show of stand-up, storytelling, and sketch that’s not only free, but promises to give each of the first 25 audience members who arrive a free beer! Unfortunately, the lineup hasn’t been announced; but if you’d care to take a chance, join hosts Ray Combs Jr., Evan Jacobs, and Aalap Patel as they provide you a drink On the House
[TOP PICK] 7:45 doors, 8:15 pm show ($5): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here) and Lisa deLarios (Comedy Central) host this monthly mix of stand-up and sketch (which I’ll finally experience firsthand tonight…), with tonight’s guests Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Joe Mande (Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Totally J/K; author of book Look at This F*cking Hipster), Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime), Roger Hailes (Comedy Central), and David Cope performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall: The Party Machine
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): One of the gutsiest and most hilarious troupes in comedy history—with honors including being Cage Match Champion for three years in a row, and winning the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Improv Group—genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo
9:00 pm ($7): Organic & energetic improv by the four guys of 4 Track!
9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub: Political Subversities
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 10:00 pm ($15 both online and at the door using discount codeSBWC, otherwise $20): This top musical improv troupe has wowed audiences around the world with its skill at making up an hour-long musical moment by moment. The plot and characters, the musical accompaniment, even the song lyrics and the “choreography” are invented on the spot, with no pre-planned structure. Come see why BWC won a FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching tonight’s edition of Baby Wants Candy
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:00 pm ($15): Ted Greenberg (Emmy-winning David Letterman writer) performing a fun, fast-paced theatrical comedy show—complete with audience interaction and audience rides home!—at The Complete Performer
10:00 pm ($5): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TVsamples, please click here and here and here), Kara Klenk, Jon Tyler, Dan Klein, and Brandon Scott Jones performing at the The Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Avenue) hosted by all-gal sketch troupe M.A.D. and all-guy sketch group Sidecar: Gentrify Brooklyn
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): An all-star improv troupe led by brilliant UCBT artistic director Anthony King interviews an audience member about where he or she grew up and then creates an entire show based on the mini-bio: The Curfew: Not From Around Here
10:30 pm ($7): Vibrant improv from Nick Kanellis & Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) and Leslie Korein as comedy trio Trike
[FREE] 11:45 pm: A weekly chance for you to shine, as students and veteran improvisors share the stage to form “rare and wonderful one-night-only teams,” with sign-up starting at 11:30 pm: Magnet Mixer
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): From the fearless and always innovative Shannon O’Neill, who won the 2011 ECNY Award for Best One-Person Show: “I seem to have made a big ole mistake. I wrote a script, I purchased the props, but I forgot to rehearse it. And on top of that I HAVE NO CAST!!!! So… I am going to cast YOU, moments before the show starts. I will hand you a script, give you some props and instruct you to just listen and get ready to perform. Oh man this is going to be a fucking mess of BEAUTY!! If you want a chance to be cast, make reservations and get in line by 11:15pm. I, Shannon O’Neill will personally come out and hand pick the best damn group of Thespians this play has ever seen and will ever see because this play will only be performed ONCE, never to be seen again! What do I look for in a cast? I love fatties, I love skinnies, I love sober people, I love drunk people. I love you all. Every shape, size, and ethnicity. Let’s hold hands and spin the world! What is this play about? Something real fucking weird and TBA. Thanks for helping me fix my mistake. I’ll see you soon friends!:” The Unrehearsed, Historically Inaccurate Story of…
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