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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:
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:00 pm: Leslie Goshko (delightful storyteller/stand-up; Sirius XM, Manhattan Monologue champion) hosts this monthly storytelling show at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, off Second Avenue), with tonight’s stellar guests Margot Leitman (Conan O’Brien, VH1, Spike TV, co-host of sexy & funny Stripped Stories), Dan Allen (host of Sacapuntas!), Carter Edwards, and accordion playing by Dr. Michelle-Leona Godin: Sideshow Goshko
[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] 7:00 pm ($5): Comedy veterans Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey), Jodi Lennon (Second City, Annoyance Theatre, iO, Exit 57), and Ari Voukydis (Conan O’Brien, VH1) performing an improvised play in What a Year!
7:00 pm ($7): “Strange, mysterious, beautiful, and disgusting, this show will dazzle you with sketch comedy… and magic!” by The Weird Sisters
[TOP PICK] 7:30 ($10): Achilles Stamatelaky (book & lyrics), Ari Scott (music), and Ryan Karels (director), along with hilarious UCBT performers such as Mike Still, Timothy Dunn, and Amber Petty, create a Harry Potter-based musical with proper Christian values in which witchcraft is evil and Jesus is good. “The audience is encouraged to bring Harry Potter books and Leonardo DiCaprio DVDs to the show, as there will be a book and DVD burning during the performance:” The Kirk Cameron Repertory Players Present: A Harry Potter Musical
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 online using discount code BBOX1): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Friday nights to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories
[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, TBS’ Lopez Report, Comedy Central), Mike Recine, Jamie Lee, Sean Wilkinson, and Avid Angelo performing stand-up atO’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup
8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello
8:00 pm ($7): Comics Jon Bander and Dave Thunder vow to lose weight (in real life) while performing sketch scenes in this show over the next few weeks: M4: Comedy’s Biggest Losers
[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Mic and Cheese
[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): An acclaimed stand-up who co-stars on IFC’s Z Rock, and has also performed on truTV, TBS, and her own Comedy Central Presents half-hour special, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Lynne Koplitz
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members ofThe Stepfathers
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: Eric Andre (hilarious wild man; HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, TBS’Lopez Report, Comedy Central), Matt McCarthy (Comedy Central, AMC, hilarious shorts with Pete Holmes for Front Page Films, national TV ads as Verizon FIOS guy, feature film The Other Guys), Vince Averill (Comedy Central, host of Beauty Bar Comedy), Kara Klenk, and brilliant singer/songwriter Shayna Ferm performing at Brooklyn’s Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Avenue) for hosts Nick Turner’s & Jason Saenz’s Too Cool for School
9:00 pm ($7): “In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The 2-year-old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs. What does it all mean? We don’t know.” In other words, improv from Chet Watkins
[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): A fresh, imaginative, and award-winning sketch troupe using song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team
[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($27.50 & 2-drink min.) Judah Friedlander is a hilarious stand-up and occasional agent of chaos. Judah is a cast member of 30 Rock, and has also performed on VH1’sBest Week Ever, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, MTV’s Wonder Showzen, and NBC’s The Tonight Show. In addition, Judah has acted in over 20 films, including such hit comedies as Meet the Parents, Zoolander, and Full Grown Men. Judah was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in American Splendor. When asked in an interview about his influences, Judah responded: “Audiences. They are often the forgotten ingredient in stand-up comedy. Stand-up is live entertainment, and a live audience is needed. Also, whatever is happening at the moment. I play off of that. The moment is a big influence. If you’re not playing the moment you’re not doing stand-up comedy–someone just reciting material but not responding with what’s going on in the room is not stand-up comedy.” This playful, anarchic, in-the-moment comedy veteran—and author of the book How to Beat Up Anybody—is headlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Judah Friedlander
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Comedy genius Thomas Middleditch (when he’s not in LA), Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors make up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute at The Law Firm: Law & Disorder
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($8): J Hobart and Grace Helbig welcome NYC talents for a morning chat show…that’s happening late at night. Tonight’s guests include Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV series Penelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner), Mike O’Gorman (Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans), and musical guest Shonali Bhowmik (Tigers and Monkeys, Variety SHAC): The Morning Show with Hobart and Grace
Midnight ($5): Young UCBT improvisors make up scenes as Harry Potter characters: The Hogwarts Improvisation Society
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