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For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.
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] 6:30 pm: Kevin Allison (legendary MTV sketch series The State, HBO, Comedy Central, VH1, host of award-winning storytelling show Risk!) hosts this free open-mic show for storytellers, in which you can put your name in a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute true story…and if it’s a good one, possibly be included in Kevin’s popular podcasts on the Web: Risk! Storyslam
7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4½ minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2½ hours—with an early show hosted by Sean Donnelly & Blaine Perry at 7:00 pm, and an entirely different group of stand-ups hosted by Dan Cartwright & Dave Greek at 9:00 pm—at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) for John Morrison’s Motel Luca
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 7:30 pm: Jason Good (Comedy Central, Howard Stern), Michael Che, Chris Lamberth, and Jeff Wesselschmidt performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub tonight hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Some of the finest improvisors in the country—Tara Copeland, Becky Drysdale, Jeff Hiller, Mike Still, and more—and tonight’s guest improvisor Brian Faas (The Law Firm) making up a musical on the spot at Diamond Lion
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): The hilarious Found Footage Festival (oddball videos not to be missed), Moshe Kasher (Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately, IFC), Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; MTV, Comedy Central), and Harry Terjanian celebrating this show’s One-Year Anniversary at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler—partying it up for this final show of the summer: Hot Tub Variety
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($10): My #1 pick for the 2007 FringeNYC Festival, this wonderful group of actresses/improvisors portray characters as if they were in a play, but improvise everything they say and do. The luminous performers include Katharine Heller, Brenna Palughi, Lynne Rosenberg, Lauren Seikaly, and Molly Knefel, each of whom is immensely appealing and quick-witted. Further, they have an intimate, lovely chemistry with each other; and they’ve all committed to baring their personal lives, thinly disguised via their characters (hence the title’s Naked). As a result, this is one of the most honest & nuanced improvised shows you’ll ever see. This show was previously a wonderful theatrical event that cost $18 and up. Don’t miss this five-week Monday evening run, concluding August 15th, at the elegant Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop) that allows you to catch the gals for a mere $10: Naked in a Fishbowl
8:00 pm ($5): Stand-ups Morgan Venticinque (Jimmy Fallon), Dan Wilbur (College Humor), and Anthony Devito engage in “a battle that will test their speed, intelligence, and knowledge of pop culture, with the prize being to headline the show at the end of the game,” hosted by Eitan Levine & Andrew Tavin: Brain Fart
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of UCBT’s finest in-house sketch comedy troupes Fambly(spearheaded by rising star Mamrie Hart, who’s snared over 125,000 visits to date with her latest YouTube viral video), plus in-house troupe Neighbor Boy (which isn’t in the same league, but features such appealing performers as Kate Hess and Tim Dunn), trying out new bits at Maude Night
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Delightful stand-ups Arden Myrin, Brooke Van Poppelen, Seth Herzog, and Micah Sherman, improvisor Will Hines, and sketch troupe Murderfist in a show “where improv and stand-up bleeds in and out of each other. One comedian starts with stand-up. Soon he or she is joined by a second comedian—and the two improvise scenes inspired by the first comic’s stand-up. Eventually the first comic leaves and the second comedian performs stand-up. When that set is over, her or she’s joined by the first comedian and a third comedian. The three improvise scenes inspired by the second comedian’s set. Then comedians one and two exit, and the third comedian performs his/her set until being joined by comedians one, two and a new fourth comedian…and so on. The process continues till we run out of comedians stashed backstage.” It’s all the brainchild of Nick Vatterott, who hosts this bold & messy new format at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City upstairs theatre: Klusterphuk
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): From the producers of The Scene, improvisors make up one-act plays on the spot at Act One
[FREE] 9:30 pm: NYC stand-ups Pat Dixon, Phoebe Robinson, Charlie Kasov, Nathan Rand, Paul Hooper, Laura Prangley, Josh Carter, and Zach McGovern performing at Pat O’Shea’s free biweekly Brooklyn showcase at Freddy’s Backroom (627 5th Avenue): Ed Sullivan on Acid
[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): World-class storyteller Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of The Adam Wade Show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page onConan O’Brien, please click here) hosts a show that’s “like watching the characters of The Wonder Years and Freaks & Geeks all grown up and telling coming-of-age tales of love, lost, regret, and redemption:” Adam Wade’s Whatever Happened to the Nerds?
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Moshe Kasher (Comedy Central Presents, Chelsea Lately, IFC), Ali Wong (fearless, razor-sharp, hilarious comedy dynamo; MTV, Comedy Central), Brent Weinbach, and Sean O’Connor, hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien,Comedy Central) at Whiplash
[FREE] 11:00 pm: If you’re an audience member who loves stand-up, Monday at 11 should beWhiplash! night (see listing above). If you’re a comic who couldn’t get booked on UCBT’s all-star show, though, you can opt to instead practice your skills at this stand-up open-mic hosted by Michelle Wolf and the hilarious Erin Lennox (for a sample of Erin’s dynamite Seriously Sports show, please click here): Fresh
For full details, please visit HyReviews.com.