NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/4/11

November 4, 2011

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Jester's Dead

Top Gun goes Shakespearean in the cleverly executed Jester's Dead...

R. L. Stine's Goosebumps

...mega-selling author R. L. Stine is among the guests at 100 Interviews Live...

2011 New York Musical Improv Festival

...and The Magnet showcases top comedy troupes tonight at its New York Musical Improv Festival

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

[TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Choral Rage(NYC) and Hidden Falls (Boston) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Choral Rage and Hidden Falls

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): This isn’t really a comedy show, but it’s at The PIT and is pretty cool, so what the heck: authors R. L. Stine (Goosebumps), Julia Segal (comic), and Mark Malkoff (My Damn Channel) discuss the creative process at 100 Interviews Live

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): In one of the best scripted ensemble shows to grace UCB West for some time, troupe Stone Cold Fox performs hilarious parodies of off-off-Broadway theatre, as well as some of the very best sketches it’s crafted over the years, in a tight hour-long show directed by comedy genius Neil Casey (who, after also recently directing stellar one-person shows by Kate McKinnon and Mike Still, apparently can do no wrong), featuring delightful performances by Fran Gillespie, Molly Lloyd, D’Arcy Carden (watch for these three gals playing existential Truth or Dare), John Murray, Nate Smith, Brandon Scott Jones, and Jonathan Fernandez, and the writing of Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon, Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Owen Parsons, and Michael Trapp: Stone Cold Fox: This Is Not Art

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East—tonight featuring guests Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), Dan Klein (The Law Firm), and Ari Scott (Thunder Gulch)—making up a musical on the spot: Diamond Lion

8:00 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello; plus in the other half of this double-bill, troupe Epic Beards

[$] 8:00 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.) An Iranian-American stand-up (for a sample set, please clickhere) who’s a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour that featured top Middle Eastern-American comics, and an actor who’s performed on ABC’ s Better off Ted and Knights of Prosperity, FOX’ s Life on a Stick, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, NBC’s The West Wing and ER, and many other shows & feature films, headlining tonight through Sunday at the Carolines Comedy Club: Maz Jobrani

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Eight small improv teams compete as part of a 32-team tournament starting tonight at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by James Ferrarella: The Arena Small Team Tournament, Round 4

[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 ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes The Made-Up Musical (NYC) and Happy Karaoke Fun Time (Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: The Made-Up Musical and Happy Karaoke Fun Time

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($30 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up who’s starred in his ownComedy Central Presents special, and has performed on Conan O’Brien, ABC, VH1, FOX, CNN, and MSNBC, headlining tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club: Paul Mecurio

[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): A half-hour stand-up set from one of the most beloved comics in NYC, who’s performed on Comedy Central, created and hosts the IFC game show Pointless, co-hostsHot Tub Variety, and is a triple 2011 ECNY Award winner: Kurt Braunohler: 30 Minutes; and in the second half of this UCB East double-bill, sketch comedy from duo Two Fun Men

[$] [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): 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), DC Benny (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central Presents), Aaron Berg, and more performing at the only comedy club in the East Village:Eastville Comedy Club

[FREE] 10:00 pm: “Improv comedy that’s all like, ‘Have you been drinking tonight, sir?’ but then is all like, ‘Lemme get a sip'” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Teenage Cop

[TOP PICK] [$] 10:30 pm ($15): In this double-bill at The Magnet, singing improv troupes Diamond Lion (NYC) and Stacked (Chicago) each make up a musical on the spot based on an audience suggestion: Diamond Lion and Stacked

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Jon Gabrus, Nate Lang, Craig Rowin, Matt Fisher, Fran Gillespie Sue Galloway, and other superb improvisors at UCB West making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

11:00 pm ($5): NYC stand-ups (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): This show begins with a delightful concept—Top Gun performed as if written by William Shakespeare—and then executes it with the joyful craft only a sharp, tight theatrical ensemble can create. Everyone in the cast is terrific, but especially memorable are Kate Turnbull as the love interest, Dan Hartley as Maverick, and Vayu O’Donnell who steals every scene he appears in with his hilariously deadpan delivery as Iceman. While this is playing at The PIT for a mere $10, it’s really legit Fringe theatre, and I hope it eventually makes its way to FringeNYC or Edinburgh—or better yet, develops more songs and gets a commercial run as a musical. Meanwhile, don’t miss this opportunity to see a way fun parody of a cult classic for about half of what you oughta be paying: Jester’s Dead

[FREE] 11:45 pm: In this free Magnet show, audience members can join in with improv veterans to make up musicals on the spot: Magnet Mixer

[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 UCB West 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 UCBT stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

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