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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 $12 marked with $) include:
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): A monthly storytelling show from the wonderful Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 15-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of Real Tales of College; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), along with guest storyteller Dan Kennedy, with improv illustrator Sharon Spell drawing scenes as they’re described and the rockin’ BTK Band following up at 9:00 pm, all at Under St. Marks: The Adam Wade from New Hampshire Show: Tales of Life, Love, and Little League
7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (no cover, 1-item min.): The perfect show for short attention spans—open-mic stand-up with 4 minutes per set and 25 comics crammed into 2 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
[FREE] 7:30 pm: Mike Lawrence (shrewdly funny curmudgeon; Comedy Central), Liz Miele (Comedy Central), Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, MTV, co-host of If You Build It), Dan Cartwright, Danny Lobell, and Giancarlo Mariutto performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub guest-hosted tonight by Ray Marshall: Case of the Mondays Comedy
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($12): 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. Please note this is among the last chances to enjoy improv genius Tara Copeland on an NYC stage before Tara moves to LA next month. Come see why BWC won aFringeNYC Award for Outstanding Unique Theatrical Event by catching any or all of this four-night run (through Thursday) at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street): Baby Wants Candy
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Andrea Rosen (most hilarious pregnant stand-up alive—and who may give birth at any moment, which is reason enough to come to the show; HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Comedy Central’s Stella, Variety SHAC, one-woman show Ding Dong Meow, winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Stand-Up), Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Ryan Reiss, and musical guest who’s “a special secret friend” (creepy!) performing at The Ace Hotel’s Liberty Hall (20 West 29th Street) hosted by Matt McCarthy (TV, movies, commercials, you name it): Marking Out
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Gavin Speiller (Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers (Reuben Williams, Cage Match), and Jonathan Gabrus (The Law Firm, The Nights of Our Lives) make up a single long scene as genius troupe Outlook of the Poet; and in the other half of this double-bill Joanna Bradley performs a one-woman show about how awful people are, directed by the wonderful Becky Drysdale: Everybody’s Dumb and Boring
[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
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:00 pm: NYC stand-ups performing at Brooklyn’s Freddy’s Bar (627 Fifth Avenue; take R subway to Prospect Avenue) for this free biweekly show hosted by Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; TLC, blogger for trutV; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here) and Giulia Rozzi (Jimmy Kimmel, MTV, VH1, Playgirl Magazine, co-host of Stripped Stories): Dive Comedy
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) tonight and Tuesday as The Two-Man Movie
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of UCBT’s very finest in-house sketch comedy troupes Dweeb(spearheaded by the razor-sharp Amy Heidt and Stephen Soroka), plus in-house troupe Thunder Gulch (which isn’t what it used to be, but features such appealing talents as Leslie Meisel, Ari Scott, and Amber Nelson), trying out new bits at Maude Night
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 9:30 pm: Typically stellar comics 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] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest stand-ups in the world—who tonight include John Mulaney (writer/performer for Saturday Night Live; Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central Presents, VH1’s Best Week Ever; for John’s great bit on Weekend Update, please click here), Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), and Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central; creator & host of IFC game show Pointless; co-creator & co-star of UK TV seriesPenelope: Princess of Pets; co-host of Hot Tub Variety; triple 2011 ECNY Award winner)—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
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