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For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, 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:
[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): Sharp NYC comics tell tales of “the role that got away” in these behind-the-scenes audience of broken dreams at The PIT downstairs lounge, hosted by Jen Kwok: Role Call
[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Genius improvisors Joe Bill, Ed Herbstman, Becky Drysdale, Kay Cannon, Christina Gausas, and other stellar performers from 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and legendary Chicago improv institutions—at UCBwest 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 at The Magnet: Theory of Everything
7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Harold Night improv troupe Airwolf makes stuff up at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Airwolf: Let’s Go Back to Your Place
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Julian McCullough (fiercely funny rising star; Comedy Central Presents, MTV, VH1), Leo Allen (former writer for Saturday Night Live; Comedy Central Presents, Conan O’Brien, HBO’s Funny or Die, director/co-writer of Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van, host of top NYC comedy show Whiplash), Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Nick Vatterott (Jimmy Fallon), and Rob O’Reilly (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) performing stand-up at Karma Lounge (51 First Avenue, off 3rd Street) with guest host Adam Mamawala: If You Build It
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Gary Gulman (Last Comic Standing, Tourgasm, Comedy Central hour-long special), Kevin McCaffrey (David Letterman, MTV), and Josh Rabinowitz at this “comedy chat show with boundary issues” that has stand-ups perform sets and then be interviewed about their personal lives: at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Matt Ruby & Mark Normand (who says “all these guys were hand-picked because they’re funny and have some serious problems; when you read this lineup you’re gonna be like “oh yeah, that guy is a mess”): We’re All Friends Here
[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A comic’s comic who’s performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, HBO, FX’s Louie, and three Comedy Central specials headlining tonight through Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Nick DiPaolo
[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Sean Donnelly, Sharon Spell, Kendra Cunningham, Erik Bergstrom, Danny Lobell, and Ash Louis performing at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Liz Simons & Evan Morgenstern: SNC: Hot Blooded
[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 at The PIT’s downstairs lounge as they provide you a drink On the House
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm doors, show is probably 8:15-8:30 pm ($8 at the door or $10.70 in advanceonline): Sean Patton (red-hot rising star; killer set on Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central, VH1; co-host of Comedy as a Second Language, frequent guest-host of Whiplash), Adira Amram (fresh, hilarious rising star singer/songwriter; winner of the 2011 ECNY Award for Best Musical Act), Adira’s dad & ace musician David Amram, and more performing at Brooklyn’s Union Hall for a show hosted by Greg Barris: Heart of Darkness
[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—UCBwest’s genius improvisors Death by Roo Roo
[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): “This ridiculous music album is TJ’s first, last, and latest installment of his trilogy Music: Who Even Cared?. Please join him for standup comedy, and live performance of only two or three of the songs from the album” at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): The Extended Play E.P. Music Album Release Party with TJ Miller
[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): 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), Nate Bargatze (Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club’s A-List
9:00 pm ($7): Two tough guys from the 1930s explaining the ins and outs of Hollywood at improv show Listen Kid!
9:30 pm ($10): “A cabaret of darkly funny songs and topical sketch comedy about culture and politics,” following sold out shows at Joe’s Pub and now at The PIT: Political Subversities
[TOP PICK] [$] 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
[FREE] 10:00 pm: A sketch show and birthday celebration with a small army of comics participating, taped for posterity, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Too Late With Zachary Sims
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($8): NYC’s heavy metal version of a sketch troupe, which provides odd, unsettling, and fearless dark comedy—and won last year’s ECNY Award for Best Sketch Group—performing this monthly show at The PIT’s downstairs lounge: Murderfist
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Ben Rodgers, Charlie Todd, Jim Santangeli, and other stellar improvisors interview an audience member about where he or she grew up and then create an entire show based on the mini-bio at UCBwest’s The Curfew: Not From Around Here
[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($7): A sharp musical improv troupe makes up stories with song and dance based on an audience suggestion at The Magnet’s Choral Rage
[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($5): Rob Lathan as hilarious hip version of Jeff Foxworthy, Jeff Rubin (College Humor), Lang Fisher (The Onion), Riley Soloner (UCBT improv troupe Mr. Crime), Frank Hejl (Dance Break, UCBT improv troupe Onassis), and Marshall Stratton & Shalyah Elizabeth Evans (Casual Sex Offenders) “celebrate the seedy and urbane life in America; think of us as The Prairie Home Companion, just a little more fucked up” at the new UCBeast (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village Theatre at 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Andy Rocco’s Underground Americana
[TOP PICK] Midnight ($5): Top improvisors pair up for one night only: Neil Casey (Death By Roo Roo) and Connor Ratliff (Dance Break), Jim Santangeli (The Curfew) and Tim Martin (Airwolf), Silvija Ozols (The Stepfathers) and Aaron Jackson (Sandino), and Fran Gillespie (The Law Firm) and an audience member—plus musical guest Casey Blac and host Don Fanelli, at UCBwest’s Couples Skate
[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.