NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 8/26/11

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For comprehensive coverage of the spectacular FringeNYC 2011 Festival, please click here.

Kate McKinnon and Jeffrey Sweet

Comedy genius Kate McKinnon performs one of the best one-woman shows of the year in "Kate McKinnon on Ice," and comedy historian Jeffrey Sweet makes a rare NYC appearance in his FringeNYC show "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love"

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] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

7:00 pm ($7): Sketch comedy from two friends who, by a wild coincidence, have the same name: We’re Matt Weir

7:00 pm ($8): Award-winning improv duo Lucas Kavner and Bradford Jordan make stuff up with “a celebrity guest improvisor’ at Swords, while all-gal improvisors Alexis Saarela, Brigid Boyle, Elizabeth Findlay, and Ashley Ward perform as troupe Taco Supreme

[MEGA-TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy genius Kate McKinnon performing her latest one-woman show, which features “Singing! Dancing! Ice Skating! Hoarders! Conjoined Twins! Temple Grandin!” This inventive, dynamic production is among the very best to grace the UCBT stage this year. (And if you don’t want to take my word alone, check out Jane Borden’s Time Out New Yorkreview.) Kate is the most precious of diamonds in our NYC comedy community; come see why in Kate McKinnon on Ice 

…and in the second 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 ($18): Jeffrey Sweet, author of the seminal improv comedy book Something Wonderful Right Away, is gracing FringeNYC this year with his one-man show about Del Close, Nichols & May, Paul Sills, and other legendary comics whose work led to such comedy institutions as NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Pit, and The Magnet. (For my full review, please click here.) If you have any interest in improv comedy history, this is a show not to be missed. There are only two performances left at The Studio at Cherry Lane (38 Commerce Street, near the #1 subway’s Christopher Street stop), including tonight at 8:00 pm, of You Only Shoot the Ones You Love

8:00 pm ($10): An improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($35 & 2-drink min.): One of the cast members of the seminal In Living Colorheadlining tonight through Sunday at Carolines: Tommy Davidson

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Adam Lowitt, Amber Nelson, Sean Donnelly, Danny Solomon, and Joe Zimmerman performing at O’Hanlon’s (14th Street off 1st Avenue) hosted by Mark Normand: Hot Soup

[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

[TOP PICK]  8:30 pm ($7): Improv troupe Phooka goes scripted with a sketch show about “tales of the wild and weird people, places, and events this side of Crazytown; true stories of all things that most folks only whisper about—and those who hear wish they didn’t!” in Phooka: Creatures, Myths, and Urban Legends

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from the comedy genius members of The Stepfathers

9:30 pm ($8): “Ever wonder how you become a writer for an Emmy winning TV show? So does J. D. Durkin. Since no one has told him, here is his one-man show performing all original material to become a writer for The Colbert Report. Durkin channels Colbert live on stage to present political punditry as only The PIT could do it…and only The PIT, since he was escorted off the Comedy Central premises:” Stephen Colbert: Hire Me

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[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

11:00 pm ($5): All-gal improv from Jennifer Bild, Christine DeNoon, Julianne Dunn, and Brandy Mitchell, plus guest stand-up and sketch gal comics: Goldie and the Hawns: Boneless! A Night of Women in Comedy

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): A brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York—spearheaded by Improv legend Joe Bill, who’ll participate if he happens to be in NYC tonight—offers lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. The troupe consists of Jordan Klepper (Klepper & Grey, iO, ), Jodi Lennon (Comedy Central’s Exit 57), Ari Voukydis (UCB instructor, VH!’s Best Week Ever), Doug Stoley (Conan O’Brien, UCB), Rick Andrews (Magnet performer), Mark Grenier (Magnet instructor), Jen Sanders (Magnet performer), and Chet Siegel (Magnet performer)—and if Joe is there too, upgrade this to MEGA-TOP PICK: Lights Out, Shirley!

Midnight ($5): Sketch comedy troupes Hammerkatz NYU and Three Sciences compete for audience laughs and votes, with troupe Sidecar hosting, in Backyard Brawl

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