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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] 7:00 pm: Sean Donnelly (host of Lil’ Seany Boy), Ariel Carson (Pillow Talk), Ray Marshall (Funny Side Up podcast), Emma Willmann, and Adam Lucidi performing stand-up at a free weekly show in the Manchester Pub hosted by Phoebe Robinson: Case of the Mondays Comedy
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
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Top NYC stand-ups audition at UCB East for spots in a new Comedy Central series, with the participants 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 ofWhiplash), Sara Schaefer (inventive, luminous comic; Emmy-nominated staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; VH1’s Best Week Ever; co-host of hit podcast You Had to Be There), Mike Recine (Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham), Streeter Seidell (College Humor), Adam Newman (College Humor), Ben Kronberg (Carson Daly), Jamie Lee (Last Comic Standing), and Lucas Melondes, hosted by Jared Logan (hilarious angry rising star; Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, co-host of Righteous Kill): Comedy Central Stand-Up TV Auditions
[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($6.50 online or $8 at the door): Stand-up Emily Heller (Rooftop Comedy), “surprise guest from LA,” and musical guest Eden & John’s East River String Band performing at Brooklyn’s Littlefield (622 Degraw Street) with sketches and more from a duo who between them won four 2011 ECNY Awards—including Best Variety Show and Best Hosts—Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler: Hot Tub Variety with Kurt & Kristen
8:00 pm ($5): In this double-bill at UCB West, first Leah Gotcsik & Marty Johnson perform their sketch show Somebody’s in the Doghouse; and then a mini-play that pleased the college-age audience I saw it with, but that I wish wasn’t written to be so calculating and by-the-numbers (e.g., the ending was dead obvious within the first few minutes)…but is probably worth seeing if only for the genuinely fresh & funny tailor scene: Brad Sacks Gets a Handjob
8:00 pm ($10): The PIT hosts two one-woman shows: “When small town girl Karen Sklaire gets placed in a South Bronx elementary school to teach drama, she faces the wild challenge with a little wink to Michelle Pfeiffer, Sidney Poitier, and Michael Jackson:” Drama at the Point; and “Becky Flaum thinks she’s Julia Roberts. And Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, even Katherine Heigel. But she isn’t. Her high cinematic hopes for her love life start to get in the way of reality on her quest for the perfect co-star:” Hopeless Romantic Comedy
8:30 pm ($5): A one-woman show debuting at The Magnet from Katie East about “being a medical freak show, enduring rare and bizarre illnesses, surgical mishaps, and cancer, all before graduating from college. Growing up in and out of hospitals she has found that people with diseases aren’t the only ones who are sick. Her obliviously egocentric characters will grow on you. Benignly, of course:” Sick Girl
[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): One of UCB West’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 format at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Klusterphuk
[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Some of the finest comics in the world—The Sklar Brothers (stars of MTV’s Apartment 2F; Comedy Central Presents half-hour special; Emmy-winning episode of HBO’sCurb Your Enthusiasm; ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; four seasons of ESPN’s Cheap Seats), Kumail Nanjiani (David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, Jimmy Kimmel, writer/performer for Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues; winner of the 2009 ECNY Awards for Best Male Stand-Up), and Seth Herzog (Jimmy Fallon, VH1, host of Sweet)—hosted by the wonderful Leo Allen (HBO, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien,Comedy Central) at UCB West’s 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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