NYC Top Comedy Choices for Friday 11/11/11

November 11, 2011

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Kumail Nanjiani

Two of the best: Kumail Nanjiani performs for an hour at UCB East in "Just Me Talking"...

Janeane Garofalo

...and Janeane Garofalo headlines at the Eastville 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:

[MEGA-TOP PICK] November 11th-13th: Among the stellar events at this year’s New York Comedy Festival are shows by comedy titans Tracy Morgan (11/11 at the Beacon Theatre), Bill Burr (11/11 at Carnegie Hall), Louis C.K. (11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), and Sarah Silverman (11/12 at BAM); shows by comedy stars Kumail Nanjiani (11/11 at UCB East), Bill Maher (11/12 at the Beacon Theatre), Norm MacDonald (11/12 at Town Hall), and Kathy Griffin (11/12 at Carnegie Hall); three panels on the art of comedy writing & performing (11/12 at UCB East), plus a panel discussion with the writers of Saturday Night Live (11/13 at the Paley Center); and a leisurely chat with Ricky Gervais (11/13 at the 92nd Street Y). For the complete massive schedule, please click: New York Comedy Festival

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creekupstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine and Annie Lederman: The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($7): Some of The Magnet’s finest comics—including the brilliant and delightful Lauren Olson (powerhouse one-woman show Our Condolences at last year’s FringeNYC)—team up with Magnet co-owner Armando Diaz to deliver comedy as sketch troupe Good Morning, Ladies in this show charmingly titled Fuck You, I’m Reasonable

7:00 pm ($5): At this PIT double-bill, 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

[FREE] 7:00 pm: NYC stand-ups Roger Hailes, Matt Ruby, Liam McEneany, Leah Bonnema, Jason Saenz, and Carolina Hidalgo performing at Beauty Bar (231 East 14th Street) at this biweekly show hosted by Peter Ostrovski & Ilya Gofshteyn: Beautiful Comedy

[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

7:30 pm ($10): NYC comics that Time Out New York selected to showcase—Kurt Braunohler, Eliza Skinner, Adrienne Lapalucci, BriTANick, Damien Lemon, Sean Donnelly, and Gabe Liedman—performing at UCB EastTime Out Live

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($15): This acclaimed 10-year-and-counting sketch troupe has “amassed a cultish following and a cast who blindly throw themselves into the most questionable of onstage situations, bless their black little hearts….join them for a hilariously unsettling look at growing older, having children, killing your dreams, and settling.” For examples of the troupe’s work, please clickhere and here, and then come to The PIT downstairs lounge to see Spurn

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($35 using discount code FTBBOX online or at the box office): One of my favorite FringeNYC shows (for my 2006 review, please click here) is finally enjoying a commercial run. The mostly-true tale of a man who became the toast of Paris by making music with his ass is playing at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (221 West 46th Street): The Fartiste

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($20 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BOOK): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

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

[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 ($18): The winning team that created Pope!: An Epic Musical (a big hit at last year’s FringeNYC) and The Spidey Project (a media sensation) is now developing a pirate musical at The Magnet about “the dashing young hero Declan as he seeks out the vicious Martin La Foe, the second most famous pirate ever,” with book and lyrics by Justin Moran & Jon Roufaeal, and music by Adam & Matt Podd: Nightfall on Mirango Island

[TOP PICK] [$] 9:00 pm ($14): A red-hot rising star who’s one of the most thoughtful stand-ups in the biz, has appeared on David LettermanSaturday Night Live, The Colbert ReportJimmy Kimmel, and Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, and won the 2009 ECNY Award for Best Male Stand-Up performs a solo show at UCB East for one night only: Kumail Nanjiani: Just Me Talking

[TOP PICK] [$] [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): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo, and more (but do you even need more?) performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5): “Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is on the ground in New York City, and he’s assembled a team of investigative experts to uncover the biggest conspiracy yet. The New World Order might keep Conspiracy Theory off the air, but we take the action outside the ring and straight to the people…because they can cancel a TV show, but they can’t cancel the truth,” with James Adomian as Jesse Ventura, Anthony Atamanuik as David Icke, John Gemberling as Sirhan Sirhan, plus Rob Lathan (Conan O’Brien), Ron Krasnow, Brad Steuernagel, and Todd Womack doing crazy shit at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Conspiracy Theory Live with Jesse Ventura

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

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 10:00 pm: An all-musical comedy night with Camille Harris, David Smithyman, Glennis McMurray, and Hardcore Boris performing at The Creek’s upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Ben Lerman and Tim Dimond: Now That’s What I Call Musical Comedy

9:30 pm ($10): Sketch comedy from hosts Jen Curran (Harvard Sailing Team) Clayton Early (Harvard Sailing Team), and Chris Roberti (New Excitement), plus guests The Chris & Paul Show, Adrienne Iapalucci, Only Son, and—via Skype—the Harvard Sailing Team at The PIT upstairs theatre: The Monster Show

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 at UCB West making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Three of the finest improvisors alive—Chris Gethard, John Gemberling, and Anthony Atamanuik—plus stellar improvisors John Frusciante, Silvija Ozols, Chelsea Clarke, and D’Arcy Carden make stuff up to delight you at UCB East for one night only: UCB NYC Improv All-Stars

[TOP PICK] 11:00 pm ($10): Smart, fun sketch comedy & talk show that’s happening at The PITupstairs theatre but is actually a TV series in development from host/creator Kurt Braunohler (Comedy Central, IFC, Hot Tub Variety), with tonight’s guests including Jon Benjamin (star/creator of  Comedy Central’s Jon Benjamin Has a Van; FOX, Adult Swim, MTV’s Human Giant) and “a secret awesome guy,” plus phenom house band Adira Amram and the Experience: Night of the Living with Kurt Braunohler

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet event, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[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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