NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 9/23/11

September 23, 2011

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For comprehensive coverage of the FringeNYC 2011 Encore Series, please click here.

Mamrie Hart

Mamrie Hart mourns the passing of Gwyneth Paltrow at Celebrity Funeral...

Rich Vos

...and Rich Vos headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

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 Creekdownstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

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

7:00 pm ($5): A one-woman show by Alexis Lambright about her quest to pop her cherry: Combating Adult Virginity

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): “Called ‘a seedbed for mighty comedy talents’ by Time Out, this UK sketch comedy troupe has helped launch such stars as Monty Python, Hugh Laurie, Peter Cook, Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, Emma Thompson, and Sacha Baron Cohen…This current show has already played a string of prestigious London venues and a sell-out month at the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival. Now it transfers to the US, stopping off at Second City (Chicago), iO West (Los Angeles), and UCB West (New York):” Cambridge Footlights’ International Tour Show: Pretty Little Panic

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Superb improvisors—tonight featuring guests Fran Gillespie, Jim Santangeli, and Ari Scott—making up a musical on the spot at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 online or at the box office using discount code TMAN): One of the very best shows at FringeNYC 2010 was an award-winning comedy from NYC’s own Faye Lane, a luminous storyteller and singer who will charm your socks off—and possibly give you a moon pie to boot—at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. This marvelous event recently received a 2011 Bistro Award for Musical Comedy and 2011 MAC Award for Special Production. Please read my review by clicking here, watch Faye make a pecan pie by clicking here, see Faye be a Green Bean by clicking here, and then take advantage of this revival running Friday nights to experience the hilarious and unforgettable Faye Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories

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

[FREE] 8:00 pm:Three sketch teams compete, with the winner decided by combining audience votes with that of a panel of judges. And while the votes are being tallied, a well-known sketch troupe outside of the competition will perform. Tonight’s show is part of a 15-team sketch tournament at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: The Arena Sketch League Finals

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) A writer/comic who’s currently playing Leon Black on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has performed on Saturday Night Live, FOX, Comedy Central, MTV, The Chris Rock Show, and such feature films as Pootie Tang and Mr. Deeds,headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: JB Smoove

[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 & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred on two seasons of Last Comic Standing; has performed a very popular Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; was a regular on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; was the first white comic on Def Jam; wrote for Chris Rock; played Lenny Bruce on NBC’s American Dreams; was an unlikely guest on The View; and is a regular on the Opie and Anthony radio show, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Rich Vos

8:30 pm ($7): Sketch comedy, sometimes interwoven with a live band: Citizen Models

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB West’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): The unsinkable Mamrie Hart (rising star who’s snared over 180,000 visits to date with her Harry Potter viral video) hosts eulogies for Gwyneth Paltrow, with participants including Jon Friedman (Jimmy Fallon, The Rejection Show), Henry Zebrowski (Murderfist), Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, and a small army of other comics at UCB East (155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Celebrity Funeral: Gwyneth Paltrow

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): Gary Gulman, Jon Fisch, Wil Sylvince, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:30 pm ($15): An award-winning sketch troupe that uses song, movement, and clever scenarios to turn familiar situations & rituals on their head (for a video about how boys will be girls, please click here): The Harvard Sailing Team

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

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, 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 UCB West’s The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): NYC comics Sad on Vacation, John Hartman, and Uber Luber Death Metal (Adam Newman & Trevor Williams) performing at UCBeast (UCB East, 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B): Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): One of the finest improvisors alive, Joe Bill (Bassprov, iO, co-founder of the Annoyance Theatre) spearheads a breathtakingly brilliant group of improvisors from Chicago and New York who’ll blow the roof off with lightning-quick dark comedy unlike anything else in NYC. Chicago-based Joe visits NYC only once a month; if he’s at this performance, upgrade it to “MEGA-TOP PICK.” Either way, the other superb players are 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), all declaring Lights Out, Shirley!

[FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[FREE] Midnight: This show typically isn’t much fun for audience members—which is why it hasn’t been on the UCBT schedule for a long time—but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to perform sketch for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB West stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

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