NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 9/21/11

September 21, 2011

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John Hartman

John Hartman takes you to the edge in his one-man show "Your Friends and Enemies"...

Rachel Sklar

...while Rachel Sklar and many others talk about being Jewish using six words in "Oy! Only Six? Why Not More?"

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:

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($12):”Storytellers on the intense, amazing, compelling, and kvelling concept of Jewish Life: from identity to mother issues to unfettered love of kugel to inner conflict over Israel to the sheer joy of discussion and debate. Each performer begins with a Six-Word Memoir and then has up to six minutes to recount its backstory. The evening ends with an audience participation Six-World Slam: you’re invited to share your own six words on the Jewish Life, such as: “Found Jewish princess. Good-bye succulent pork.” “One small Jew, one loud family.” “Born Mormon, intellectually Jewish, emotionally Zen.” “First Shabbat, Western Wall, tears falling.” “Overstuffing is part of my aesthetic.”It all happens at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson Street): Oy! Only Six? Why Not More?

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B), Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie; and another genius improv troupe consisting of trio Gavin Speiller of Death By Roo Roo, Ben Rodgers of The Curfew, and Jonathan Gabrus of The Law Firm) performs as Outlook of the Poet

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Chicago-based John Hartman (Second City Touring Company, Baby Wants Candy) performs a one-man show for one night only “about the creepy, marginalized, and perverse; the dark and ridiculous; the poignant and silly lives of people you like and people you hate, despite the fact they may be one in the same” at UCB West: Your Friends and Enemies

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Emily Epstein (Comedy Central), Amanda Melson (Last Comic Standing, VH1), Katie Halper (MSNBC), and Gabe Morales performing stand-up at the East Village’s Beauty Bar for Negin Farsad’s & Amy Albert’s free weekly show Comedy School Dropout

8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm ($7): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free drink!): Typically terrific NYC stand-ups (sadly, not announced this week) performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[FREE] 8:30 pm: Open mic stand-up (with sign-up starting at 8:00) at Brooklyn’s Belleville (330 5th Street) hosted by Josh Guarino: The Belleville Mic

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): For this double-bill at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B), Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar are first up as the energetic & entertaining all-gal improv troupe Doppelganger; and then UCBT Harold Night house troupes Mr. Crime and Grandma’s Ashes make up scenes without relying on the usual long-form “Harold” rules at Cheating on Harold

[FREE] 9:00ish pm: NYC stand-ups Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central), Kat Herskovic (NBC), Boris Khaykin (Comedy Central’s Atom TV), and H. Alan Scott (Oprah), plus The Shrink Dancers, performing at this free weekly show at the Luca Lounge (222 Avenue B off 14th Street) hosted by Sharon Spell: Shrink

9:30 pm ($5): Two of the finest comedic actors in NYC, Amy Heidt and Jeff Hiller, perform sketches about love and murder that aren’t nearly as good as they are (don’t know how that happened, as Amy is also a brilliant writer), but come for the pleasure of seeing these two on stage at The Last Resort; and in the other half of this UCB West double-bill, the superb Ryan Karels (Conan O’Brien, Krompf) performs a sketch show I haven’t yet seen titled Radio Rogue

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:30 pm (just a $5 cover if you call 212.757.4100 for a reservation and mention Mike Racine’s name, plus 2-drink min.): Fresh faces from NYC downtown comedy—the wonderful Erin Lennox (host of I Like You Too), Nick Turner (Jimmy Fallon), and Jeff Wesselschmidt performing tonight at the Carolines Comedy Club, with Mike Racine headlining: Mike Racine and Erin Lennox

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: Rob Cantrell is an organic and delightful pothead stand-up who’s performed on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, and VH1, and written for High Times. Tonight he debuts a monthly show featuring all-new material, with guest stand-up Hari Kondabolu (Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central), at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Rob Cantrell: All In

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: As many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB West (307 West 26th Street) makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B) with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house troupe Grandma’s Ashes: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

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