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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 $) include:
[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ($49.50): 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 the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, just one block from the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) for Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
7:00 pm ($5): Sketch comedy from New Jersey-based troupe Upset Triangle
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Anthony King, Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Christina Gausas, 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 ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s toured with Jerry Seinfeld for nine years—and who Jerry hired to host The Marriage Ref—and has appeared numerous times on David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, CBS, and Comedy Central headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Tom Papa
[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($49 & 2-drink min.) A TV and movie star who first earned fame onChappelle’s Show headlining through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Charlie Murphy
[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] 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): Sketch troupes Two Fun Men, 3D Beard, Level Seven Detective, and Jim Tews —all groups with a number in their name!—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
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): Improv genius Ed Herbstman is paired with one improv partner after another, “pulling Ed into a blood pit of mystery scenes and disturbing surprises. All the improvisers who matter will help disorient Ed from 10:30 until he shatters inside. One of you, the mere audience, will be picked to play a scene with this soon to be broken man. Who do you trust when you can’t trust yourself? Don’t answer that. That question was for Ed:” Marathon Man with Ed Herbstman
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Arden Myrin (Conan O’Brien, Mad TV, numerous other TV shows & films; for Mad TV samples, please click here and here and here), a now-rare NYC appearance by the beloved Curtis Gwinn (Death by Roo Roo, The Nights of Our Lives, now living in LA), Andrea Rosen (most hilarious pregnant stand-up alive; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central’s Stella, Variety SHAC, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), John Gemberling (fearless comedy genius; Death by Roo Roo, Adult Swim), Streeter Seidell (College Humor), Billy Prinscell, and musical guest Niall Connolly performing with host Andy Rocco at Underground Americana
[FREE] Midnight: 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
For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.